Abe government announced new military orders November 15 on the Self Defense
Forces’ (SDF) troopers who would be dispatched to South
Sudan on peacekeeping mission. One of the new duties is called ‘Kaketsuke-keigo’,
or ‘a rush to the rescue mission’. It violates both the Constitution and the
PKO rules to send SDF troops to a country where a civil war is staged. The use
of weapons in the country will force Japanese peacekeepers to kill or to be
APPROVED USE OF WEAPONS IN CONFLICT ZONES
Cabinet Office and the NSC (National Security Council) decided to send 410
soldiers from the Ground SDF, 170 of the Air and another 170 of the Maritime
SDF to South Sudan with new missions: one is a rush to the rescue mission and
the other is a joint defense at base camps’, both of which allow personnel to
use weapons in the operations. The military order represents first mobilization
of the duties specified in the law, called the Act on Cooperation for United
Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Other Operations, which was revised last
South Sudan, which gained independence in
2011, military conflicts are going on over concession of natural resources,
including oil, with combats prevailing in the country. The two armed groups loyal
to the President and the former Vice-president fight each other, and last July as
many as 300 people were killed in Juba, the
capital city, during the heavy fighting in which helicopters and tanks were
deployed. According to an announcement of the South Sudan
government, ‘at least 60 people are killed weekly’. Armed conflicts continue.
United Nations peacekeeping operation is aimed to lead conflicts to real peace
on the premise of cessation of a war through armistice, supervising observation
of the ceasefire agreement.
the key principle breaks down, peace-keeping operations must be suspended or
which boasts of Article Nine of the Constitution, must seek withdrawal of SDF
engineering contingent if the nation strictly observes the five rules on PKO.
It is a grave mistake to dispatch troops authorized to engage in armed
Abe government is enthusiastic to justify the dispatch of SDF in order to keep
his pledge to show ‘achievements’.
it says there is no conflict in South Sudan, adding that after the country
gained independence in 2011 it has ended clashes with the Sudan authorities
and that no agreement is needed as warring parties do not exist. It is a
surprisingly negligent logic.
it says the July clash ‘was not a combat but a collision’ and that the rebels
were not organized and systematic enough to secure controlled areas and
therefore they were not a warring party. Such a definition is not found in the
laws on peacekeeping missions. Usually a guerrilla war is not fought ‘systematically’.
It does not keep ‘securely-controlled areas’.
the July fighting the government forces and the PKO soldiers clashed, according
to the both sides. Allegations were reported: the government forces killed aid
workers and UN personnel, or they murdered inhabitants, looted, sexually
assaulted and set fires on houses.
will the SDF soldiers fight against the government forces in order to rescue
NGO and UN staff in the so-called Kaketsuke-keigo? The Abe government replies: ‘the
government of Sough Sudan
agrees to the SDF’s activities in the country’ and that ‘those who attack
residents and NGO people are of unlawful groups beyond the government’s control’,
and therefore, ‘no fighting is anticipated against the South
Sudan government’s soldiers’. The logic cannot work in the
Japanese government puts some conditions for reservation: ‘geographical areas of
SDF operations are limited around Juba (which
the government controls)’, ‘a rescue operation of foreign military personnel is
not anticipated’, and ‘peacekeepers will be pulled out when meaningful
operations are difficult’. Soldiers of the SDF, however, will kill or will be
killed. The government is too reckless to treat lives of peacekeepers.