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Ugandan troops to gradually withdraw from the South Sudan conflict

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February 21, 2014 (JUBA) – Uganda has no desire to keep its troops on South Sudan soil longer than it is necessary and will gradually withdraw them in compliance with the African Union proposal for the deployment of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC) in the new nation, its foreign affairs minister said.

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Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni inspects his soldiers in Jonglei, South Sudan February 19, 2014 (PPU Photo)

"The deployment of ACIRC in South Sudan will facilitate Uganda’s progressive withdrawal and/or redeployment", Sam Kuteesa said in a statement.

The AU Peace and Security, he added, was expected to meet at an appropriate time, to work out modalities for deployment of ACIRC in South Sudan before the countries that have voluntarily pledged capacity to ACIRC may then provide such support.

"We believe that the deployment of ACIRC is the most logical way to withdraw from South Sudan, without leaving a security vacuum that that can be taken advantage of," Kuteesa further said.

"We further believe that a political solution will bring about lasting and sustainable peace to this young and sisterly Nation of South Sudan", he added.

Uganda deployed a contingent of its troops in South Sudan after the outbreak of violence in the country on December 15 last year. Its involvement in the conflict has, however, been widely criticised with the the latest being the United States demanding immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops fighting in the conflict.

But Uganda’s involvement in the over two-month conflict is guided by a Status of Forces Agreement both Khartoum and Juba governments signed at the behest of the latter.

MUSEVENI MAKES SURPRISE VISIT

The Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni made a surprise visit to South Sudan to see his troops in the front-line fighting alongside forces loyal to the South Sudanese president Salva Kiir against troops allied to his former vice-president, Riek Machar.

Museveni on Wednesday held a lengthy closed-door discussion in Juba with his South Sudanese counterpart, mainly focusing on the future of their alliance.

The Ugandan leader also visited his troops on the front-line in Bor town, the capital of Jonglei state, which his forces claimed to have recaptured from the rebels after exchanging hands four times in January.

There were, however, no official statements from the presidency on the contents of the secret meeting.

Ateny Wek Ateny, who speaks for the president confirmed the visit, but declined to make any comments on the visit because it was at the level of the two presidents.

“I have no comment to make on the visit because the discussions were between the two heads of state. I was not part of the meeting so I do not know what the two leaders have discussed. I have no information as such”, Ateny told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Sources close to the leadership in Juba, however, said the visit aimed at assessing the security situation in areas where Ugandan troops are fighting alongside South Sudanese army against the rebels and to boost their moral with assurances of increased double payments and military promotions.

“The leaders discussed the need to respect terms of source funding for military operations, including keeping confidential information relating to the source of funding,” the source revealed.

The Ugandan cabinet also approved Shs120 billion in supplementary budget largely meant to finance the ongoing operations of the Ugandan army in South Sudan, according to the independent Daily Monitor newspaper.

Such voices started appearing in Uganda after South Sudan defense minister revealed that its government was covering all the activities, including feeding, payments for personnel weapons, transportation of all military related cargoes as well related allowances.

The two leaders also discussed the status of the remaining detainees and the need for two presidents to strategise and agree on a political ploy to partially disengage and pull out Ugandan troops from South Sudan.

The visit also came a day after the rebels allied to Machar, recaptured the strategic town of Malakal, the capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile state where 70% of the country’s revenues comes from.

This means announcement would be made through the regional bloc (IGAD) in coming days. The result of this is the pressure on Uganda from Norway, Britain, the United States as well as the IGAD member countries. America has already threatened to suspend foreign aids to Uganda in the event it failed to comply.

(ST)

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  • 21 February 23:25, by australian

    Horrible words. Everything about this meeting is horrible.

    repondre message

    • 22 February 21:24, by Tutbol

      http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/697649030?-21266:20622
      Look at that link guys, even in Kenya, they also have propagandists just like we have with the French edited SUDAN TRIBUNE! S Sudanese fought the toughest war with N Sudan without any military help from Uganda or anyone from our region. But because of the so-called intergration, the Nuers were took over the SPLA & the real SPLA...

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      • 22 February 21:34, by Tutbol

        with an aim to take over the govt of S Sudanese. When the S Sudan govt calls its Uganda’s closer’s ally, the hyenas in the West mostly in the US & Europe & juus criminals who are suppoting Riek Machar because they think, Riek Machar will let them into S Sudan to steal are out in force flooding the media of any country media that they think is closer to S Sudan....

        repondre message

        • 22 February 21:42, by Tutbol

          These criminals in the West even forgot that S Sudan is an independent & that S Sudanese are independent thinking peoples. The game the criminals in the WEST are playing in Syria & Ukrain isn’t going to stick in S Sudan. The writer even said that "Uganda will use its diplomatic influence to convince Kenya to stay in S Sudan!" Typical lowly educated juus...

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          • 22 February 21:53, by Tutbol

            does Kenya, Ethiopia, Eriteria & N Sudan has any veto power over S Sudan’s sovereignty? These lowly educated juus, US & Europeans journalists ways of reporting about African Affairs always stoke anger on some people who know these evils countries. I don’t know why Kenya’s STANDARD newspaper gave that criminal a space to write that piece of rubbish propaganda in their Newspaper?

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  • 22 February 09:19, by garang kerubino

    Dear all, no body in South Sudanese can take Riak Machar action as surprise because the name as you can see reflect the action of Dr.Riak. Riak in Dinka literary mean (destruction) and Machar (Black) that mean (black destruction) and that is what you can see in greater Upper Nile states as all so shame on black destruction.

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    • 22 February 10:22, by jijury

      Dinka orphans, don’t cry yet Bor and Warrap will both be capture three days from now. The main oilfields are now shutdown Salva will soon running out of money to pay Ugandan troops. we noted that the govt gave mercenaries fake money in their pockets. The Uganda and Rwandans we killed have fake 600-1000 pounds in their pockets.

      repondre message

      • 22 February 14:21, by Lotodo Awino Odug

        Be warn Nuer brothers, this war will finish your community if you do not wise up. your forces will be destroy in Malakal and Gadiang if you attempt to come back to Bor again. we have enough volunteer soldiers who will burn down your villages very soon.

        repondre message

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