Kenya Foreign Minister Says Country Wants UN to Deploy in South Sudan “sooner rather than later”

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Kenyan foreign minister Amina Mohamed said on Monday she wanted a Security Council-sanctioned U.N. protection force to be deployed in South Sudan “sooner rather than later” but that its deployment could be gradual.

Ambassador Mohammed was addressing a presser with United States Secretary of state, John Kerry.

He arrived in Kenya where he held talks with leaders of the East African nation focusing on regional security and extremism.

Kerry announced nearly $138 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help the South Sudanese people, who have gone through about three years of “senseless, brutal fighting”.

A recent fighting in Juba has caused “broader insecurity throughout the country, and severe economic decline have conspired to worsen an already dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan”.

“Warring parties have terrorized and abused innocent civilians, especially women and girls. More than 2.5 million people have fled their homes – internally and to neighboring countries. Forty percent of the population now faces life-threatening hunger, with some people on the brink of starvation. Food security conditions are at their worst since South Sudan gained independence in 2011 notes” reads a statement from US State department.

The new funding, provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), includes nearly 58,000 metric tons of food aid and specialty nutrition products, along with emergency health and nutrition services, safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, and cholera treatment and prevention messaging to stem the current outbreak.

With Files from Reuters