Australia to provide aircraft for UN effort in South Sudan

ACTING Prime Minister Warren Truss said today the Australian Government is responding to an urgent request from the United Nations for strategic air-lift support for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

As requested by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on December 25, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a temporary increase in the strength of UNMISS forces to 12,500 military and 1323 police from the current combined strength of some 7000.

The Australian Defence Force is preparing to provide a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster and a C-130J Hercules to move United Nations personnel and equipment into South Sudan in the coming days.

Two aircraft that were conducting routine operations in the Middle East Area of Operations will be re-positioned to Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates to undertake this task when required.

Both aircraft are equipped and crewed to support UNMISS and are prepared to operate in the threat environment expected in South Sudan.