About 120 Rwandan peacekeepers have arrived in South Sudan, United Nations said on Tuesday, the first detachment of 4,000 extra troops approved by the U.N. past year to help protect the capital of Africa's newest country.
"Having additional troops means we can carry out more tasks related to our mandate, to protect civilians and build durable peace", the Secretary General's Special Representative and the head of UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, told a news conference on Tuesday in Juba.
A team of Nepalese soldiers and an engineering company from Bangladesh who will join east African troops for technical support have also arrived.
Currently, there are already around 12,000 troops operating under UNMISS in South Sudan, but the Security Council authorised the deployment of the regional forces after the July 2016 violence amid complaints the United Nations failed to protect the civilians.
"It will enable us to put more patrols along insecure roads where there have been attacks on civilian convoys", Shearer said of the RPF.
Sudan is locked in a war between the rival Dinka and Nuer tribes, with Dinka forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and Nuer forces of former vice president Riek Machar.
Speaking to Xinhua on Wednesday, South Sudan's Ambassador to Ethiopia James Morgan said despite Ethiopia and South Sudan signing an economic Memorandum of Understanding early this year, the lack of control by South Sudan government forces bordering Ethiopia had hindered implementation of the agreement.
In August 2016, the UN Security Council, following a request by the regional body Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), approved the deployment of 4,000-strong RPF force to secure Juba in the aftermath of renewed clash there.
"They took the main town and our forces are now regrouping", said Deng, reached by phone.
Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict. Machar is now in exile in South Africa.