Home | News    Friday 23 May 2014

Uganda says military forces averted “genocide” in S. Sudan

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May 21, 2014 (KAMPALA/JUBA) – The Ugandan government has told donors gathered at an international conference in the Norwegian capital Oslo this week that its military intervention in South Sudan had averted “unimaginable genocide” in the new nation.

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Uganda’s General Katumba Wamala (L) shakes hands with a soldier during a visit to peacekeeping troops in Somalia on 9 January 2013 (Photo: Reuters/Tobin Jones)

Henry Oyrem Okello, the state minister for foreign affairs and leader of the Ugandan delegation in Oslo, said the international community should focus on pressing both sides of the conflict to observe a renewed ceasefire agreement signed on 9 May.

The Ugandan army (UPDF) was deployed to South Sudan after conflict erupted in mid-December last year and has been providing support to the national army (SPLA) attempting to quell a rebellion in the young country led by former vice-president Riek Machar.

Uganda’s involvement has come under heavy criticism form rebels and the international community, amid accusations the country is meddling in the internal affairs of South Sudan and undermining efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to the crisis.

Okello acknowledged the criticism, but reiterated the UPDF’s committed to supporting “the legitimate government of South Sudan”, saying forces would remain “as long it takes”.

“The Ugandan forces were criticised by international community and other people for its presence in South Sudan,” said Okello. “But it has been proved that our intervention has averted a situation where we could have had worse genocide; a killing that would have been unimaginable.”

Okello has called on both warring parties to “show leadership by respecting the ceasefire”.

Meanwhile, Ugandan General Katumba Wamala says ongoing reluctance to deploy regional East African regional forces to stem violence in South Sudan would likely see conflict persist in the country despite the truce agreement.

Both Machar and Kiir recommitted to ending hostilities following a face to face meeting earlier this month in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating peace talks.

But the latest agreement, which followed a tenuous deal signed in January, has failed to halt violence on the ground, with both sides accused of committing atrocities.

Wamala told a press conference on Tuesday that Uganda had asked the South Sudanese government to cover fuel expenses, despite its parliament earlier approving one billion shillings for the military operation.

He also questioned the legitimacy of the latest ceasefire, expressing doubt at the commitment of South Sudan’s warring parties to honour the terms of the agreement.

The general has called on IGAD to speed up the deployment of a regional force in the country to avert further bloodshed.

Uganda currently has between 2000 and 3000 troops active in South Sudan.

The presence of Ugandan troops has proved a sticking point during negotiations between the rebels and the government, and was recently blamed for stalling the latest round of peace talks in Addis Ababa.

South Sudanese rebels have also accused Sudanese mercenaries from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) of fighting alongside government forces.

They have warned that the presence of foreign troops and militia groups would continue to thwart attempts to reach a peaceful settlement.

However, Wamala has stood by the UPDF’s involvement, saying Ugandan forces were in the country at the request of the South Sudanese government and would remain there until asked to pull out.

Ongoing violence in South Sudan has killed thousands and displaced more than 1.3 million people, reigniting tribal tensions across the country.

Donors at the Oslo conference have pledged $600 million for humanitarian efforts in the country after the UN warned it was the “last chance” to avert a looming famine.

(ST)

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  • 23 May 06:08, by Tong dut

    The only way to do with ugandan is to kill them all in south sudan. The war was Dinka Nuer war. What brought them?
    what ugandan did in congo Ruwanda Somalia south sudan is too bad. we are going to help Joseph konyi so that he may fuck Museveni the dog. Now people in juba most start killing ugandan wewe every night.Our money is stollen by Museveni. The man who kill John Garange we knows it.

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  • 23 May 06:15, by omoni jr.

    Ugandans military asked south sudan gov’t t pay for the fuel!!!!!!!!!!!! What the beggars in the name of providing and averting the genocide in south sudan!!!?????? onee billions shillings is nothing, especially ugandan shilling, Valuless papers..........Thtat billion is equivalent to one thousand south sudan pounds.

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  • 23 May 06:48, by wang

    What a cheap propaganda from Ugandan govt! They can justify their involvement but it would never change the fact that they did come to S. Sudan to protect their foods sources and further to Support N. Sudan rebels to overthrow the Khartoum regime…..Khartoum is watching you…

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  • 23 May 07:06, by dinkdong

    Truths be told. I think they are right. The Nuer White Army would have over-ran Juba and that would have been a disaster leading to genocide.

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    • 23 May 09:31, by Adodi Jotuwa

      Wang,
      Do not believe that Dr. Fool Riek Machar will be the leader of South Sudan at any cost—by using his untrained civilians “white army”, continuously receiving logistical support from Khartoum or Asmara. No. Never. Riek is a well-known traitor and murderer since 1991. Another Nuer with a PhD can be voted in today if we go for elections and Dr. Fool Riek Machar can even see…

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      • 23 May 09:32, by Adodi Jotuwa

        … with his own eyes how he will lose votes to other presidential candidates in broad daylight. He can, however, use a “high profile propaganda” as usual that the presence of JEM, SPLA-N,UPDFin South Sudan, you name it, is simply to justify the covert continued military support rendered by Khartoum and Asmara to keep Southerners killing themselves in order to loot South Sudanese…

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        • 23 May 09:34, by Adodi Jotuwa

          … resources at the end of the day. The happiest regime on this planet about the ongoing killings between the food-lovers-murderous-Nuer-dominated rebels led by Dr. Fool Riek Machar and the non-tribal-led government forces is National Criminal Party, NCP who survives on repressing democratic transformation, detaining political opponents and murdering Darfurians…

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          • 23 May 09:35, by Adodi Jotuwa

            … and South Kordofanians and Blue Nileans since 2003. I have said repeatedly that international community is investing heavily in the tribally-led rebellion in the wrong country compared to the icon Dr. John Garang De Mabior who championed the cause of freedom for Dr. Fool Riek Machar and his associates to be acknowledged as first class citizens in their own country/South Sudan.

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            • 23 May 09:36, by Adodi Jotuwa

              Democracy or Federalism can be borne domestically not imported or imposed upon South Sudanese for one’s self-interest. USA did not import their distinctive democracy and Federalism from Europe following their migration to the New World, but borne and nurtured in the environment of the New World. Most of the immigrants were educated compared to uneducated “white army” …

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              • 23 May 09:38, by Adodi Jotuwa

                …of Dr. Fool Riek Machar who are supposed to be given books, not guns. Dr. Fool Riek Machar knows perfectly well that he won’t be a leader as he failed to find it from 1991-1997/(KPA) to 2002 or be elected to lead South Sudan in 2017/2018. Khartoum and Asmara are aware of the poor political record of Dr. Fool Riek Machar, not only on Nuer intellectual front…

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                • 23 May 09:42, by Adodi Jotuwa

                  …in particular but also on national, regional and international ones. If Dr. Fool Riek Machar fails to honor the recently signed cease fire, who cares? Government forces will never sit hand folded while the other side ignores the humanitarian cost of its activities because of leadership position/imposition of matured western democracy and federalism in a new country of less than 30% educated citiz

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  • 23 May 09:11, by Angelo Achuil

    I don’t know what people think could have happened if the white army came to Juba. The result could have been like that of Bentiu or Malakal, and what could the Bhar el Gazal population have done - Gelweng against White Army without central command? Tell me about it.

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  • 23 May 09:20, by Ambago

    Now that UPDF is stuck in South Sudan, Museveni must stop begging for re-enforcement by AU forces or IGAD forces, both of which do not exist.
    As the 6 months old war keeps showing all signs of a wider regional involvement, Uganda should be ready to pour all its shillings into this bottomless pit as South Sudan’s tribal fights seems to have become.

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    • 23 May 09:35, by Ambago

      It is indeed a hypocrisy for Museveni and his men to begin praising themselves for averting any genocide.
      The UPDF have succeeded in limiting the killings to Upper Nile States. Averting a genocide all together isn’t true. UPDF have even contributed in yet further killings using those cluster bombs. Mr Museveni, you don’t avert genocides by using "cluster bombs", do you?

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  • 23 May 21:54, by Kim Deng

    Rommel,
    I’m sure you know that the arabized Nubian (NIF/NCP) gov’t’s forces were still in Torit let alone Malakal, Wau, and Juba when the CPA was signed in 2005.

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    • 24 May 06:18, by Rommel

      Kim Deng:
      We were fighting on two fronts, you wretched sap. The North was our main concern, you were merely pests. If you were so ’mighty’ our forces would not have cleared you out of our lands and penetrated deep into Uror, Ayod, Akobo and many others.

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