Home | News    Wednesday 14 January 2015

S. Sudan rebels have no right to demand Ugandan troop withdrawal: officials

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January 13, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudanese officials Tuesday defended from Khartoum the presence of the Ugandan troops in their country saying the rebels have no right to request their withdrawal.

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Taban Deng Gai, head of delegation of the armed opposition faction led by the former vice-president Riek Machar, and the three mediators arrive to attend a special consultation meeting in support of the IGAD-led South Sudan peace process in Khartoum on 12 January 2015 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

South Sudanese foreign minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin, information minister, Michael Makuei and the government top negotiator Nihal Deng Nihal held a press conference in the Sudanese capital Khartoum where they attended a consultative meeting on peace sponsored by the Chinese government.

Benjamin rejected told reporters that the Ugandan People Defence Forces (UPDF) is present in the South Sudan since before the beginning of the inter-South Sudanese conflict within the framework of bilateral relations and in accordance of an agreement with the African Union and The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The presence of the Ugandan troops was dictated by the activities of the the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Eastern Equatoria state and the atrocities they committed against civilians there, he said.

The top diplomat went further to say that the UPDF forces did never participate in the fighting against the rebels but limited their role to defend the vital institutions and infrastructures in the new nation.

He disclosed that Juba informed Khartoum that the Ugandan troops will not be deployed in areas near the Sudanese border.

The SPLM-In Opposition led by the former vice-president Riek Machar calls for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops and other foreign fighters allied to the government of president Salva Kiir from the country.

The rebels say they clashed several times with the UPDF troops. Last October they claimed to have killed Ugandan soldiers taking part in the fighting against their forces in Upper Nile state.

The US State Department in January 2014, said the involvement of foreign troops in the South Sudanese conflict was in defiance of the cessation of hostilities agreement between government and its rebel faction.

The information minister and spokesperson of the government negotiating team told reporters that the rebels have no right to ask for the departure of Ugandan troops.

“They did not defeat us to dictate their own conditions. No rebel has the right to say expel the Ugandan forces,” said Makuei.

The chief negotiator Nihal Deng Nihal said the South Sudan enjoys full sovereignty and legitimacy to enter into any agreements with any country. He regretted that the SPLM-In-Opposition speaks about the withdrawal of the UPDF as a pretext to escape the implementation of the signed deals.

He further said that the agreements of 11 November 2014 resolved the issue of the Ugandan troops as it provides for their pullout from South Sudan once a cease-fire is signed.

The Sudanese authorities, different times, were frustrated by the presence of Ugandan troops in the border states of Unity and Upper Nile. Khartoum also publically accused Juba of using and supporting Sudanese rebel groups in the border areas.

RELATIONS WITH SUDAN

Makuei denied that his government provides any support to the Sudanese rebels. He further pointed that the supporters of the South Sudanese insurgency are roaming Khartoum streets adding, "but we do not want to say that because we are seekers of peace".

He also said the talks on the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement is delayed because the head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki is busy with the file of the peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebel groups.

However, he said that the border demarcation committee will resume its meetings next February .

From his side, Nihal Deng pointed to the deadlock at the negotiations on the contested areas and suggested to resort to the international arbitration, before to add that Sudan refuses this option.

The government chief negotiator further said “there is no (Sudanese) rebel leaders in South Sudan but look to Khartoum and see who are there?”.

He went further to warn that President Salva Kiir is the most keen of the South Sudanese officials to strengthen relations with Khartoum.

“If the Sudanese government did not use the opportunity of good relations during the rule of president Salva Kiir we will not be able to (resolve the outstanding issues) with another [president],” he said.

(ST)

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  • 14 January 2015 08:59, by Rami Tot

    slave Barnaba and organce Makuei are talking out of their minds they are saying things that Khartoum knows they cheating themselves thinking that they are cheating people in sudan

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    • 14 January 2015 09:00, by Rami Tot

      khartoum is very advanced in military intelligence in the region you are trying to say just for the sake of saying

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      • 14 January 2015 09:38, by Johndumo14

        No executive prime minister and no separate Army.
        What is your hidden agenda mr Rebel of Dr Riek??
        WHO will trust you to have executive prime minister and separate Army in S.Sudan?? WHO do not know your colours??
        People knew Dr Riek since day one from 1991-2013.You must forget those things,if no Peace WHO is the loser?? Israel is at war with arabs since day one,is there no life going on??

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        • 14 January 2015 13:14, by Mr Point

          The presence of UPDF in South Sudan is estimated to cost Uganda an amount that is double their investment in the health sector according to the Cost of War report.

          How long before Ugandans realize that their participation in Kiir’s senseless war is, in fact, senseless?

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        • 15 January 2015 05:04, by jubaone

          Johndumo14,

          You dont trust Riak and you think UPDF will give you permamnent protection? A country that has lost its sovereignity? Barnaba Marial the "Kafir" believes he just cant do it yet and so need Ugandans, Eritreans/Ethiopians, Kenyans, bcos we´re still a "baby-nation", someone to babysit, nurse and clean our "a...es". Grow up baby Baranaba! Let UPDF go.

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  • 14 January 2015 09:04, by Malakal county Simon

    DR Slave Marial is right to said that UPDF should stays in South Sudan!! But guess what?? In my understanding, you’re telling the South Sudanese and the world at large that your government is incapable and can’t protect the capital Juba without UPDF present..... But be assured that’s we are still comming to Juba this Februar......

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  • 14 January 2015 10:49, by wang

    This fake foreign minister (Barnaba Marial Benjamin) deserved a gun shot in his head……,

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  • 14 January 2015 11:11, by Marco Bul

    The rebels think that once UPDF is withdrawn,they will capture all the main towns and force the gov’t to flee.LOL
    I wish I was Kiir.I would have withdrawn UPDF upto Aru Junction or Yei and we try out ourselves.They are not interested in peaceful settlement.Bring it on

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    • 14 January 2015 12:39, by Rami Tot

      Bul

      bravo let your dump minded president do as you said how can you feel don,t shy of bring foreign troops which at last comes as to rescue and evacuate their people latter joint in killing south Sudanese people?
      you guys don,t know that we will not accepted the existance of foreign troops in our land for what reason should they insisting not to withdraw? food loool

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  • 14 January 2015 17:37, by Kim Deng

    What if Uganda did not involve in this conflict? Of course, Juba would became a ghost town and Mr. Slava Kiir would have been dead or exile today.

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/south-sudan-peace-talks-going-nowhere-says-pham

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  • 14 January 2015 17:39, by Kim Deng

    There are no recorded instances in which the Dinka succeeded in countering a large-scale Nuer offensive without government assistance, despite the fact that they were issued guns and ammunitions by the government and hold a strong advantage in this respect. The Dinka were evidently incapable of mounting an offensive counteroffensive that would have tied down Nuer forces in defense of home...

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  • 14 January 2015 17:41, by Kim Deng

    territory and were likewise unable to recoup their steady losses in cattle and land. The Nuer were thus free to leave their villages undefended while they engaged in extended raids, operating from bases established in conquered Dinka villages. Although a Dinka counteroffensive against undermanned Nuer communities undoubtedly would have curtailed extended Nuer raids and offered highly...

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  • 14 January 2015 17:42, by Kim Deng

    favorable prospects for capturing large numbers of cattle, there is no evidence that the Dinka ever adopted this strategy. Moreover, the Dinka were unable to mobilize a defensive force equivalent in size to the eighteen hundred men who comprised a large raiding party and were consequently unable to contain their advance.

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