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In the South Sudanese town of Bor, Korean peacekeepers provide vocational training programme in bakery, aiming at developing self-sustaining basic skills amongst the nation’s youth. UNMISS

ROK Hanbit Unit in the Republic of South Sudan, Salvation ceremony (2014.04.18)
The South Korean Sudanese Reconstruction Assistance Force or Hanbit Unit are UN peacekeeper forces deployed by the Republic of Korea to the Republic of South Sudan. On July 9, 2011, the Hanbit Unit was dispatched from South Korea to South Sudan, which had separated from Sudan in 2011. Peacekeeping operations began in South Sudan after religious, civil, and racial violence broke out in the new nation, issues which eventually compounded into the South Sudanese Civil War. The Hanbit Unit is the seventh unit dispatched from the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, preceded by the Sang-lok-su Unit (deployed to Somalia, Angolan and East Timor), the Danbi Unit (deployed to Hati), Dong-Myung Unit (deployed to Lebanon), and a medical support unit sent to the Western Sahara.[1] As of November 2017, the Hanbit Unit remains deployed in South Sudan.

Korea’s deployment to South Sudan in 2013 equaled the size of the Japanese contribution but was made about a year later. In addition to this rivalry with Japan, the rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in UN peacekeeping has increased pressure on Seoul to contribute. There exists a kind of regional rivalry among the Northeast Asian countries, which can be an influencing element in Korea’s decision to participate in UN peacekeeping.

Hundreds of South Korean soldiers will depart for South Sudan on Monday to carry out UN peacekeeping operations, the military here said.

The Army held a send-off ceremony on Monday for more than 280 rotational troops. They are the ninth batch of troops to serve at the “Hanbit” unit for eight months.

The contingent has been stationed in the country since March 2013 to support its recovery from a destructive civil war.

Selected from among roughly 2,000 applicants, the troops had eight weeks of training to prepare for their mission in Africa, including education on local culture and language, said the Army.

They will focus on helping repair the 200-kilometer (124-mile) road linking Bor, Mangela and Pibor, called Peace Road, it added. South Sudan declared its independence in July 2011 from its Arab-dominated northern neighbor Sudan after decades of civil war that claimed about 2 million lives.

The UN Security Council soon adopted Resolution 1996 aimed at assisting peaceful reconstruction works. The United Nations asked South Korea to dispatch peacekeeping troops.

The Hanbit unit was created in early 2013 after the National Assembly passed a related motion.


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