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Concerns raised over Ugandan involvement in S. Sudan affairs


January 1, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese civil society organisations, along with human and civil rights activists have expressed deep concern over the involvement of neighbouring Uganda, which stands accused of “meddling” in the internal affairs of another country.

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Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni (L), pictured with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir, has been criticised for meddling in the internal affairs of South Sudan (Photo: AFP/Getty)

In statements to reporters during a visit to the capital, Juba, on Monday, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said regional leaders had vowed to defeat former vice-president Riek Machar, presently leading a rebel force, threatening collective military action from member states of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) unless he agrees to a ceasefire.

Rebel forces loyal to Machar have now agreed to hold talks after retaking Jonglei capital Bor just hours before the deadline for compliance.

“If the Ugandan president and his government wants to help us to be in peace and harmony as neighbour, he should have pressed hard [for] the two sides to reach a peaceful settlement, but now president Museveni has taken sides”, an activist who did not want to be identified fearing reprisal told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

The activist said military action from outside was unnecessary and the matter should be handled internally.

Meanwhile, another activist blasted Museveni’s statements to the media as irresponsible, saying he should not have commented publicly on military intervention as though South Sudan was a territory under his jurisdiction.

“South Sudan is an independent state and I expected president Museveni to have at least shown diplomacy in his statements to the media”, the activist said.

However, presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny argued that comments criticising the Ugandan president were unjustified and were driven by either political or tribal interests.

In a statement broadcast on state-owned radio and television on Tuesday, Ateny described president Museveni as a “genuine friend” of the South Sudanese people, adding that he is “someone with interest to see that peace prevails in South Sudan”.
In a separate interview with Sudan Tribune on Monday, he stressed Museveni’s statements were made on behalf of IGAD and should not be misconstrued to mean he was speaking on the position of the Ugandan government.

“He (Museveni) was conveying the message from the IGAD member countries. You know that Ethiopian and Kenyan leaders came and had constructive and fruitful discussions with president Salva Kiir about what happened [in South Sudan]”, Ateny said.

Seven IGAD member countries, comprising of Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, are taking a lead role in trying to end the conflict which erupted on 15 December after clashes between rival factions of the presidential guards in Juba.

However, a number of South Sudanese officials have questioned the impartiality of the body after some countries indicated that military action may be necessary to quell the rebellion with military if the rebel faction fails to accept dialogue.

Canada-based commentator on South Sudanese affairs Joseph Nguen opined that statements by the Ugandan president could jeopardise efforts to bring stability to the country through a peaceful means, stressing that mediators should not give ultimatums.

“True mediators don’t give any ultimatum to any side they want to bring to the negotiation table. This is not an impartial position”, Nguen said in reference to Museveni’s remark that the regional leaders had given Machar and his group a deadline to respond to calls for a ceasefire or risk being defeated.

Machar’s group said in their statement that IGAD’s efforts could be compromised by the actions of the Ugandan army.

“If not stopped, the UPDF’s [Uganda People’s Defence Force] aggression may compromise IGAD attempts to remain instrumental and neutral in bringing an end to the crisis in South Sudan”, the statement said.

Thousands of people have either died or been displaced in the conflict which has taken on ethnic undertones, pitting armed forces predominantly from the Dinka tribe loyal to Kiir against members of Machar’s Nuer tribe.


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  • 2 January 08:19, by zulu

    Uganda is helping the SPLA in reciprocity for what the SPLA did in dislodging the LRA and fighting the LRA deep inside Uganda. So many Khartoum backed Ugandans who mamed and amputated South Sudanese within the borders between Uganda and Sudan were actually routed by the SPLA. So, if Riek’s masters in Khartoum and Iran are playing dirty, no one should stand aloof

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    • 2 January 09:35, by Hardlinner

      Museveni is right. Any terrorist that want to disturb peace must be eliminated by all mean. In fact what is the different between riek and elshabab?. Kiir must eliminate both riek and gatdat.

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  • 2 January 08:39, by Gat Gan Kiir

    My message is going to M7, please know that we are not Ugandan nor Dinka we are Nuer made in. Nuer of South Sudan. Gen. Gatdet is leading strong and well equipped army men compared to women you and Kiir deploy. Whether you are with Nuer or with enemy of peace nothing will extinguish those freedom fighters to reach. Juba. No stone will be left unturned in Juba. Being a Nuer is a pride and previligd

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    • 2 January 09:16, by moto


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    • 2 January 09:33, by Mabior Dhongbang

      Nuer known nyagat ,atribe which is conviced by foolmasir water ,and bread,tribe of lier you all stupid ,no body among you is wise ,there is no single tribe which can lead rebellion against 63 tribes ,if you where not all fool,and stupid .wait the so called white army will finished in Bor. you did not managed Dinka by the time you and Arabs ,how about now ? you wait your death silently.

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  • 2 January 09:26, by Jalaby

    Well, do you really don’t know why Museveni is interfering in S Sudan issue?
    You know Museveni considers himself is the hero who fought with southerners till got separated form them and without him the south will never be an independent country!!
    You guys clapped and appraised Museveni very much when he involved heavily and fought with you against Arab/Jalaba and you

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    • 2 January 09:30, by Jalaby

      said to him "Yes sir, you’re the hero", so you didn’t know at that time Museveni is interfering in Sudan local issue and that is unacceptable by international law? Now Museveni is interfering between you guys, you want to know why? I’ll tell you why?

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      • 2 January 09:36, by Mabior Dhongbang

        Jalaba keep quiet here ,we are going to castrated all your friends Nuer since you Arabs are no longer helping them /, no room for Jalaba here man keep your ass off.

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        • 2 January 09:54, by Jalaby

          Mabior Dhongbang,
          Be careful of your words and never irritate or aggravate us as Arab/Jalaba because if we change our mind and supported Nuer then Machar troop will not just end up in Juba but they will capture Kampala too and Museveni will seek asylum in Tanzania! I warn you to watch your mouth and never aggravate us my friend!!

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          • 2 January 15:02, by Wani khooto

            rem you supported the same machar with nuer in 1991 but the still fail and by then SPLA was fighting jalaby and mind you now we are go’vty not rebel again.i am not even a dinka but i fight along with spla in 1991,just now iam now a soldier but what i know the machar rebel will never progress,that is how the started very hot but with time the don’t need hardship with no food.nothings big

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    • 2 January 09:37, by Jalaby

      Museveni didn’t fight with you for vain but for a real reason, he considers himself the reason why you’re free man (if you had ever being slaved my friend), he considers the south as part of his property as usually people believe their backyards belong to them, whether you like it or hate it, Museveni is your new master!

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      • 2 January 09:42, by Jalaby

        Museveni will never f### off but will always give himself the right to intervene!
        Guys, now it’s time for you to reap what you have planted before!!

        Jalaby (Abo Jalabia)

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        • 2 January 17:58, by kumkan

          Please be easy on these Dinka fools they are frustrated because M7 did not succeed on defeating Riek and Nuer freedom fighter. Their weakness has been seen by international community that is why try to give them hands but none of these fools realizes that IGAD is after our resources. Pls, don’t let them tame u, the ongoing chaos is being cause by the greediest Dinka president!

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