Recently Operation ASLAN Rotation 10 received their United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) medal from the Commander of the Australian Contingent, Colonel John Carey. The Commander of the Japanese Contingent presented Colonel Carey his medal, reflecting the close relationship between the Australians and the Japanese in South Sudan.
“Rotation 10 has been a key part of South Sudan’s journey to peace with the return of Rick Machar to Juba, the implementation of the Transitional Government of National Unity that followed, and the subsequent outbreak of civil war in Juba during the July Crisis,’ Colonel Carey said.
The July civil war within the city of Juba resulted in hundreds of South Sudanese deaths, as well as two Chinese Battalion soldiers who were killed when their vehicle was hit by indirect fire that landed inside the UN compound.
While not directly targeted, numerous Peace Keepers were injured in the cross fire, a stark reminder that Peace Keeping can be dangerous and unpredictable.
Colonel Carey said it was a testament to Rotation 10’s resilience and teamwork that they were able to continue to work through those events in such a positive manner.
With the departure of Rotation 10, another significant milestone has been reached in the history of Operation ASLAN and the contribution the ADF has made to South Sudan, with 23 September 2016 marking the fifth year anniversary.
Operation ASLAN was the successor to Operation AZURE; the ADF contribution to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). Since then over 200 personnel have deployed to South Sudan.