• Kyodo

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Japan will offer South Sudan $6 million in aid to help the war-torn African nation fight famine, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida indicated Sunday.

Kishida revealed the planned aid while speaking to reporters in the city of Kumamoto. The government announced Friday that it was withdrawing at the end of May Self-Defense Forces engineering personnel sent there as part of a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

The government is expected to formally announce the aid in the coming days.

“We will continue humanitarian aid, including human resource development and food aid and further strengthen it,” Kishida said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s announcement that Japan will pull the troops out of the country came just four months after the government decided to assign SDF personnel deployed there the additional role — under new security legislation — of coming to the aid of U.N. personnel and others under attack.

Despite recent concerns that the security environment in South Sudan is deteriorating, Abe and other officials denied this was the case, stressing that the withdrawal is merely because the SDF’s infrastructure-building expertise is no longer necessary.

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