Kiwi troops bringing peace to South Sudan

NZ Army Major Fraser Winskill in Malakal
NZ Army Major Fraser Winskill in Malakal

Michael Morrah's trip to South Sudan was made possible with support from World Vision. You can donate to the South Sudan crisis appeal here.

A tiny team of New Zealand troops is doing its bit to bring justice to millions of South Sudanese people affected by war.

There are only three Kiwi personnel in the country, but they're making quite an impact.

Amid the squalor of a UN-protection of civilian camp, the Kiwi troops are proving a welcome distraction.

NZ Army Major Fraser Winskill works as a Military Liaison Officer for the United Nations, helping coordinate patrols and the delivery of aid.

"I already know personally that I've already made an impact, and have achieved some things already to help this community," he says.

He's based in Malakal. In February, 25 were killed during an attack on a camp there, a place where 38,000 have sought shelter from the on-going tribal violence.

"It's a very dynamic and fluid place. The security situation changes very rapidly here," says Maj Winskill.

New Zealand's contribution in South Sudan has already been recognised with a gallantry star, when in 2014, Maj Geoff Faraday got 72 people to safety when a barge he was travelling on came under fire while travelling up the Nile.

Kiwi troops bringing peace to South Sudan

Newshub camera operator Nick Zieltjes (L), Newshub Pacific Affairs Correspondent Michael Morrah (R) and the team

NZ Army Lieutenant Colonel Mel Childs works at the UN headquarters, developing plans to respond to fighting and environmental disasters like flooding.

"From a personal perspective, I see the difference three New Zealanders are making on the continent to the mission every day," she says.

"There have been a number of atrocities committed in this country and at some stage it would be good to see that there is some justice for the people and population."

It's a harsh, hostile place, especially for children. 

"It makes me realise how lucky we are as New Zealanders to be born where we're born. How lucky my children are," Lt Col Childs says.

"These kids -- they have nothing. They have limited food, they have no toys, they maybe have one set of clothes -- and yet they still smile and laugh and find joy in the small things."

The Kiwi defence contingent will remain in the camp until October. An end to the fighting, fear, and inequality -- it's what everybody want here.


Michael Morrah's trip to South Sudan was made possible with support from World Vision.

If you would like to contribute to life-saving aid for the people of South Sudan, you can donate to World Vision’s crisis appeal today.