February 13, 2014 (JUBA) – A spokesperson for the Ugandan army said Friday that any move to withdraw its troops from South Sudan would be a process, not on order from western nations.
- Uganda army spokesperson Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda (new vision)
Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda made this remarks in the wake of recent demands from the United States for withdrawal of foreign troops involved in South Sudan’s conflict.
The participation of foreign forces, the US argued, contravenes the cessation of hostilities agreement reached on 23 January between South Sudan’s warring parties.
But Ankunda denied reports that Uganda had violated the ceasefire, only admitting its troops recently helped South Sudan army (SPLA) repel rebel threats in Jonglei state.
“What if violence rolls back into Bor, Juba after UPDF withdraw, will the US be there to help?” he asked.
The Ugandan military spokesperson also accused rebels loyal to South Sudan former vice-president Riek Machar of allegedlly killing 28 civilians at Kolyang East of Bor in Jonglei state.
“[They] also attacked Pariak village looting and pillaging,” he added.
REBELS ACCUSE UGANDAN ARMY
Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, the military spokesman for SPLM/SPLA In Opposition on Friday claimed Ugandan warplanes spread aeriel bombardments in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State.
“On 13-2-2014, government troops and thier allies attacked our forces at Anak-Diar 30km east of Malakal town and received air support during two hours of heavy fighting,” he said.
"Ground attacks and the bombing of our positions by Ugandan continued in Lakes state for the 4th day whereas on 13-2-2014, government forces and their allies attacked our forces at Gadiang some 90km north of Bor town in Jonglei state," he added.
"Both attacking forces were repulsed in Yirol, Anak-Diar and Gadiang".
The rebel spokesperson said Uganda’s involvement in the South Sudanese internal conflict remains the biggest obstacle to achieving peace.
"Museveni’s tireless efforts in undermining and defying regional and international powers calling for immediate withdrawal of his troops is mind boggling", he stressed.