UPDF Not To Deploy Troops In South Sudan

1571 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Gen Katumba Wamala says it was agreed that Uganda and Sudan are not included as part of the regional protective force, whose mandate is to protect civilians and also back the reinstatement of Machar, in line with the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement signed by the two principles.

Government says it does not have plans to deploy the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) in South Sudan.

General Katumba Wamala, Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) told the parliamentary committee on Defence and Internal Affairs today that the decision was reached recently during a summit meeting with countries under the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

In a bid to beef up the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) currently deployed, Katumba says it was agreed that Uganda and Sudan are not included as part of the regional protective force. The force's mandate is to protect civilians and also back the reinstatement of Machar, in line with the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement signed by the two principles.
 
Katumba, who did not give explanation on the exclusion, says they will instead provide technical and military assistance to support the regional force.
 
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Fighting erupted in Juba early last month between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, leaving hundreds dead and at least 1.6 million displaced. 
 
Even though the African Union proposed deployment of regional forces to South Sudan, this was rejected by the Kiir government.
 
Katumba says while there are no forces on the ground since the withdrawal of troops in November last year, a few military observers are in South Sudan to monitor the situation.
 
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Uganda deployed in South Sudan in December 2013 when a disagreement between President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar degenerated into yet another round of fighting. 
 
Over 50,000 people including Ugandans have since been evacuated by the UPDF from South Sudan. However, Mubarak Munyagwa, Kawempe South MP says there are still Ugandans stuck in the war-torn country, and the UPDF should find means to rescue them.
 
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About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.