August 11, 2016 (JUBA) – Uganda has revealed that its troops will not take part in the proposed deployment of a third party regional force to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, Ugandan media has revealed.
- An unidentified man sits in the gun turret while leading a convoy of armoured vehicles from both the South Sudanese government forces and the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in the streets of Jonglei capital Bor on 19 January 2014 (Photo: AP/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)
The development was announced by the Uganda’s Chief of Defense Forces, General Katumba Wamala while interfacing the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Internal Affairs on Thursday afternoon.
General Katumba who did not give reasons told legislators that Uganda and Sudan have decided to “excuse” themselves from the deployment that was called for in the summit of the IGAD heads of state and governmet Heads of Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last week.
Last week, Sudanese officials in Khartoum said that Bashir had refused during IGAD meeting on the South Sudan to participate in the African force to be deployed in the South Sudanese capital.
The 27th African Union assembly in Kigali, Rwanda late last month resolved that Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya should contribute a regional force to South Sudan which following the renewed fighting in Juba.
“The UPDF and SAF are not going to deploy in South Sudan. We had a meeting and decided among ourselves not to deploy but the rest of the countries can go ahead,” General Katumba was quoted in local Ugandan media.
It is not clear what brought about the latest change for Uganda and Sudan to pull out from the deployment in Juba.
Kampala is seen to be in support of the mainstream SPLA under President Salva Kiir while Khartoum is accused to be supporting the armed opposition faction under the leadership of former First Vice President, Riek Machar.
Only Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda are going to send their troops to the world’s youngest nation.
General Katumba however added that both Uganda and Sudan are going to be readily available to provide support in other areas including the use their facilities like airports in the two countries.