All papers reported that three ASDF C-130 cargo planes left for Djibouti on Monday to evacuate some 50 JICA aid workers and other Japanese citizens trapped in South Sudan due to renewed internal conflict. Although JICA is reportedly arranging a commercial chartered flight to evacuate them, the ASDF aircraft may head for Juba if the arrangement falters.
Personnel belonging to a GSDF engineering battalion currently engaged in a UN peacekeeping mission near the capital city may escort the Japanese evacuees to the local airport. According to the papers, it would be the first time for the SDF to carry out such a ground operation abroad.
Although the GOJ plans to transport the evacuees in GSDF armored vehicles, the operation may be called off due to the deteriorating security situation. Yomiuri said Japan may ask other foreign militaries for assistance, while Mainichi projected that foreign nationals engaged in JICA aid operations may also be evacuated by Japanese troops. The papers added that the GOJ is likely to continue the peacekeeping operation by GSDF troops at least for a while.