Home | News    Tuesday 13 October 2015

Ugandan army declares withdrawal from South Sudan

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October 12, 2015 (JUBA) – Ugandan government has on Monday finally declared to withdraw its troops, the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), from South Sudan, but the South Sudanese army (SPLA) said the foreign forces should stay a little bit longer until security arrangements were made with the armed opposition faction led by former vice president, Riek Machar.

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A contingent of soldiers from the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (Photo courtesy of New Vision)

The announcement to start withdrawing the Ugandan troops was made in Kampala by the country’s foreign ministry in accordance with the provisions of the peace agreement signed in August between president Salva Kiir and his rival, Machar.

Uganda’s permanent secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs, James Mugume, on Monday announced that UPDF forces would begin to withdraw from South Sudan on Monday, 12 October, per the peace agreement which gave the foreign forces 45 days to leave from the signing of the IGAD mediated peace deal.

Addressing a news conference at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Mugume hailed the UPDF for its two years of intervention in South Sudan, saying it “halted the massacre that was going on…in South Sudan and …saved lives of Ugandans.”

He said the government and the people of Uganda must abide by the peace agreement between the South Sudanese parties, hence pulling out from the war-ravaged neighbouring country.

The ministry of defence also confirmed the withdrawal of the country’s forces, saying senior military commanders were already on the ground in South Sudan to monitor the withdrawal starting on Monday.

“Yes it’s true the boys are coming home...as I speak the Chief of Lands Forces is in South Sudan. UPDF has 45 days to implement withdraw but team of senior officers such as Lt. Gen. Ivan Koreta will do field monitoring,” the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Katumba Wamala, told Uganda’s New Vision newspaper Monday.

Responding to the new development, the office of the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, said they welcomed the withdrawal of the UPDF, saying it was overdue.

“We welcome Uganda’s compliance to withdraw the UPDF from South Sudan as stipulated in the peace agreement. Actually it is overdue. The accord gave all foreign forces 45 days within which to complete the pull-out from South Sudan’s soil,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

He also added that the Sudanese rebel groups being allegedly hosted by president Salva Kiir’s government and fight alongside it against the armed opposition faction should also beat the deadline and move out.

However, South Sudan’s army (SPLA) resisted the withdrawal of their foreign allied forces, saying this should only happen after an agreement on security arrangements had been reached with the opposition fighters.

"UPDF will not leave South Sudan if SPLM-IO will not sign the minutes of the security meeting in Addis Ababa," SPLA’s spokesman, Colonel Philp Aguer, told Eye Radio on Monday in Juba.

But Dak said the withdrawal of the UPDF didn’t require prior signing of the minutes as the peace agreement clearly provided for its withdrawal within 45 days, adding that the withdrawal was communicated to have kicked off on 10 October.

He argued that issues that needed prior agreement at the military workshop in Addis Ababa were matters to do with locations of forces cantonment/assembly, composition and sizes of joint forces which numbers were not clearly stated in the peace agreement.

UPDF troops were deployed in December 2013 on invitation of president Kiir following the outbreak of violence when Kiir and Machar disagreed fundamentally over reforms within the ruling SPLM.

The Ugandan forces have been accused by Machar’s group of prolonging the war by siding with president Kiir’s forces, doing most of the fighting between Juba and Bor, defending the two capitals and their surroundings.

WITHDRAWAL A SECURITY ARRANGEMENT

The South Sudan had earlier said Uganda troops will withdraw from the country when a consensus on the implementation of the security arrangement matrix had been reached.

The presidential advisor on security affairs, Tut Gatluak said discussions between the government of the Uganda South Sudan on the withdrawal plan in compliance with the provision of the compromise peace agreement were in advanced stages.

“There is no problem. They [Uganda troops in South Sudan] are ready to change the area of deployment. Those in Bor and Juba will be deployed outside these places in accordance with the provision of the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan. The implementation process would have been completed long time if the rebels did not refuse to sign security arrangement matrix and our friendly forces would have changed the area of deployment”, Gatluak told the state-owned SSTV on Monday.

He described Uganda as a “very important and responsible neigbour” to the young nation.

“The people of South Sudan and the government are happy with the people and the government of Uganda. The leadership in Uganda has demonstrated a value of good neigbour and for us as the people and the government of this country (South Sudan) we see Uganda as not just a very important and responsible neigbour but as brother country”, stressed the presidential aide.

(ST)

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  • 13 October 2015 00:33, by dinkdong

    Watch out South Sudan government!

    repondre message

    • 13 October 2015 06:10, by Mi diit

      So according to the Bul Nuer Tut Gatluak UPDF is not withdrawing but simply changing the locations of deployment within South Sudan.

      Then this is a violation of the peace agreement. Where are UNMISS and IGAD to monitor and verify the withdrawal of these parasites.

      And where is the sovereignty of South Sudan if it allows occupation by foreign forces of Uganda.

      Shame on you thugs!

      repondre message

    • 13 October 2015 07:55, by chuol

      TuttNgom TutLiel Gargooth

      Shame on your food lovers community and yourself who value food the most than human life and dignity.

      From Omer Bashir to Salva elAwiiir

      Yien nguetna Bul?a cia Nuara Puol elong cieng guar.

      Thanks Pvt Chuol TharjiathLiey
      Barkour, Rubkotna County

      repondre message

    • 13 October 2015 09:08, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      They look like proffessional soldiers,but SPLA look like militias,please learn from others

      repondre message

  • 13 October 2015 03:55, by Eastern

    Stop foot dragging; implement the signed agreement to the letter!

    repondre message

  • 13 October 2015 05:41, by Whortti Bor Manza

    Mr. Tut is another moron who feeds on poor Nuers blood. after supporting Omer Bashir against the very SPLA he now vehemently embraces, he now adores Kiir. Now South Sudanese ever supports the Ugandan intervention. Uganda intervened just to rob and squander the resources of South Sudan. Now these have dried out, the only option is to quit and mend relation with Khartoum. I commend Mr. Tut for that.

    repondre message

  • 13 October 2015 09:21, by Gang-Bang

    Now there is room for revange killing fully.

    repondre message

  • 13 October 2015 09:35, by Gang-Bang

    The so called librators, old generation face with fat political stomach must go inorder for peace to come in the country. Its will defenetly takes two generation for south sudan to get good govement for all

    repondre message

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