In an ironic move, the UN asked Israel to send a squad of policemen to South Sudan to help keep order in the fledgling nation this week.
According to reports, Robert Orr, an aide to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, approached Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and asked him if Israel would be willing to send policemen to help keep South Sudan secure from domestic crimes as well as preventing any cross-border raids.
The request comes in the wake of string of border incidents between South Sudan and its northern neighbor as well as the civil that has been fought for the last several years that left thousands dead, wounded and displaced as refugees. A large number of refugees from the war zone ended up in Israel and were due to returned to their country of origin this month. However, because of the violence in South Sudan and the war its northern neighbor is attempting to reignite with it, the refugees have not been deported.
Over the last 24 hours, South Sudan has fought off four cross-border raids from the Sudanese army. The fighting is only expected to increase, which has led to concerns of a reignited civil war. In addition, Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir – who is accused of war crimes and committing genocide – threatened to invade South Sudan this past week. There is speculation that the clash is over oil fields in South Sudan that Sudan would like for itself as well as South Sudan’s capture of Heglig, a town that has a rick oil field in its outskirts.
Israel responded to the report by saying that it was considering the request but could not give a final answer. The reluctance is mainly because of the violent situation and the refusal to place police officers and soldiers in harm’s way. However, Israel did sent 19 police officers to Haiti in the wake of the massive hurricane that devastated the nation nearly two years ago. Israel also sent several groups of volunteers to Japan in the wake of the Tsunami that devastated northern Japan.