US Calls For Withdrawal of Foreign Forces From South Sudan

February 9, 2014 5:03 pm0 comments by:

UN Plane that evacuated foreign nationals from Heglig town

Washington– The US government has called for the withdrawal of foreign troops from South Sudan.

In a strongly worded press release issued by State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, the US government warned of the risk of regionalization the conflict as a result of foreign interference.

“We urge the redeployment or phased withdrawal of foreign forces invited by either side, and warn of the serious consequences which could result from any regionalization of this conflict,” Psaki said.

She also called for an inclusive reconciliation process in the IGAD-sponsored political dialogue in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The US call for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops comes as Juba and Kampala are finalising a military cooperation agreement between the countries. Uganda says the participation of its troops helped to maintain South Sudan’s stability.

IGAD also recently expressed frustration saying the Ugandan involvement in the conflict weakens their efforts to end the Conflict. But Juba responded by saying it has the right to demand such support.

The rebel SPLM-In-Opposition warned in a statement issued in Addis Ababa on 8 February that the non withdrawal of Ugandan troops would eventually lead to the failure of the upcoming round of talks scheduled for 10 February.

State Department spokesperson also requested the government of South Sudan to fully cooperate with the mission of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and ensure that it carries out its mandate without any hindrance.

“We also call on the government of South Sudan to fully cooperate with the (…) (UNMISS). It is imperative that the government ensure that any assaults on and threats against UNMISS facilities and personnel immediately cease.

“The mission’s ability to carry out its mandate is critical to establish peace and meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of South Sudan,” she further stressed.

UNMISS had earlier complained that senior government officials and troops sometimes tried to force their way into the UNMISS compounds, particularly in Bor town.

The mission was accused of harboring rebels in its bases. It was also accused of allowing the rebels of using its vehicles and facilities in the country.

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