SDF peacekeepers got in about 50 road accidents in South Sudan: ministry

TOKYO —

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force personnel participating in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan have been involved in about 50 traffic accidents since the start of their deployment in 2012, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

The ministry released the figures for the first time following an accident the same day in the capital Juba, in which a vehicle carrying members of the GSDF and a civilian on a motorcycle collided.

The local man suffered fractures, while none of the Japanese troops were hurt, according to the ministry.

A Defense Ministry official said the accident tally has been released now because of “heightened public interest in the SDF’s activities in South Sudan and the fact that the civilian sustained fractures.”

But the ministry did not release details about the other accidents in which the troops have been involved since they began participating in the U.N. mission in January 2012.

The Japanese government said on March 10 it will end the SDF’s participation in the mission at the end of May, citing a diminishing need for the troops’ help in building infrastructure. Opposition parties have claimed that deterioration in security conditions in Juba is really behind the move.

Monday’s accident occurred at an intersection about 500 meters to the north of the Japanese peacekeepers’ barracks in Juba. According to the ministry, the vehicle carrying GSDF civil engineers turned left and collided with the motorcycle traveling behind it.

An SDF medic traveling with the group gave the man first aid before U.N. military police took him to a civilian hospital.

According to the ministry, traffic accidents involving peacekeepers are investigated by the United Nations.

© KYODO

  • 3

    WA4TKG

    Not that I've BEEN there mind you, but is there THAT much Traffic in Southern Sudan ? I would bet the farm, the Japanese Military vehicles are TARGETED to RAM into, so they can collect $$$ ¥¥¥¥, oldest trick in the book.

  • -3

    klausdorth

    Wrong answer.

    It's probably based on the "non-driving experience" of the SDF people in foreign countries.

  • 12

    kazungu

    @WA4TJG ... I've lived and worked in Juba, the capital of South Sudan where SDF personnel are based. You're actually correct - it's often a scam by local guys riding in motorcycles to cause "accidents" to collect money. They also target NGO and UN vehicles. But also many people there are really bad drivers.

  • -2

    theFu

    There are bad drivers everywhere and scams everywhere. Plus, I gotta wonder how many years of driving experience the SDF folks have since 90% of Japanese live in urban areas and probably don't drive daily.

  • 1

    toshiko

    I think it is scam. The country claimed people are dyeing hunger. One person wrote here past b15 to 20 yrs he was abused by SDF that only be there five yrs, Japan was going to give food. So, now motorcycle using hungry man got scam op Operation. Get out from there.

  • 1

    Freddie Krug

    use armored vehicle. It means SDF is not welcome despite its peacekeeping efforts. Some people just don't appreciate peace and the donations with aids they getting.

  • 1

    John Constantine

    Is this a high rate compared to other foreign drivers?

  • 1

    yankinhokkaido

    Many of them were probably staged "accidents" by local people looking to cash in. My hunch is that few, if even any, of these incidents were the SDF's fault.

  • -1

    sf2k

    Doesn't matter what you think, the driving abilities are in question right now creating reasonable doubt

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    The article doesn't state how many of these accidents were caused by the JSDF. That is probably more important than jut how many they "got in".

  • 0

    chisineko

    Generally WAR ZONES are dangerous places and non combatants should be advised great care should be taken when near military personnel. Like being around a biting dog. PC military ideology, however,does tend to blur the lines.

  • 0

    Badge213

    So 50 accidents in 5 years. 50/5 = 10. So roughly 10 accidents a year *365/366 days a year isn't that great amount in the whole scheme of things.

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