Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson South Sudan MOD
Africa

Defence Secretary Visits UK Peacekeepers In South Sudan

More than 300 British troops are currently deployed across South Sudan.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson South Sudan MOD

Gavin Williamson with soldiers from the UK Engineer Task Force serving in Bentiu, South Sudan (Picture: MOD).

The Defence Secretary has visited the UK’s largest contribution to United Nations peacekeeping, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

More than 300 British troops are currently deployed across South Sudan where they are running a field hospital and improving infrastructure to keep internally displaced citizens safe.

Gavin Williamson said the UK must continue to set an example in the battle to bring equality and stability to the world’s most fragile countries.

Defence Secretary South Sudan Hospital
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson on a tour of Role 2 Hospital in Bentiu, South Sudan (Picture: MOD)

 "The UK is a nation that leads from the front – promoting security, championing prosperity, and protecting human rights," he said.

"We stand with the people of South Sudan, particularly those who suffer horrific crimes such as sexual and gender-based violence."

Last month, UK troops in Bentiu completed upgrades to 15km of roads used to deliver vital food and aid.

This means women will no longer be forced to make the long journey by foot each day, exposing them to risk of attack.

Defence Secretary South Sudan Women Centre MOD
Women and children at the Malakal Protection of Civilians (POC) camp, South Sudan. (Picture: MOD)

During his trip, the Defence Secretary visited a UN Protection of Civilian (PoC) camp in Malakal to hear the stories of some of those who have been affected by the conflict.

Gavin Williamson also met with President Salva Kiir Mayardit, to discuss how efforts were going to bring peace to South Sudan following the signing of a peace agreement in October.

With a £40.8million contribution last year, the UK is the third-largest humanitarian donor to the country.