President Museveni Explains Uganda’s Interest in South Sudan

January 19, 2014 2:44 pm0 comments by:
President Yoweri Museveni and Mrs Garang after holding talks in Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni and Mrs Garang after holding talks in Uganda

Kampala-President Yoweri Museveni says he deployed the Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF in South Sudan to avoid it from collapsing.

Museveni made the remark in Bombo barracks near Kampala, while addressing the Army Council which is the highest decision making body in the Uganda People’s Defense Forces.

“I sent troops to South Sudan which is affected by a conflict. We did not want them to collapse”, he said adding that the two main groups in the neighbouring country, being led by President Salva Kiir and Mrs. Rebecca Garang were with the Uganda Government.

Museveni noted that the Uganda People’s Defense contingent that’s in South Sudan is performing well in its fight against the rebels led by former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces is currently engaged in fierce battles with rebels loyal to Riek Machar.

According to Paddy Ankunda the UPDF and Ministry of Defense Spokesperson, they captured Bor the regional capital of Jonglei state on Friday.

The rebels however say they made a tactful withdrawal and will soon launch other attacks in strategic towns.

Meanwhile bodies of Ugandan soldiers who were killed in an ambush on 13th of January in South Sudan have started arriving home.

The exact number of soldiers who died in the fighting is not known but some South Sudanese news websites put the number at 250.

The Ugandan army however says they will not reveal the exact number and the identities of the fallen soldiers.

Uganda deployed both infantry and the air force in South Sudan following the outbreak of violence there.

The Ugandan Government had first claimed that the deployment was to help evacuate thousands of its citizens who were trapped in the fighting.

Uganda has economic interests in South Sudan; last year it gained more than US$400m in foreign trade.



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