December 22, 2016 (JUBA) - Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has advised his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir to ensure early elections are held to give power to people in the war-torn nation.
- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (L) listens to SPLM-IO Chairman Riek Machar in a meeting held in Masindi town, on January 25, 2016 (courtesy photo of SPLM-IO)
"I wish people of South Sudan total peace. That is what they fought for. They fought for total peace and self determination and I would appeal to the Transitional Government of National Unity heads by the President [Salva Kiir] and their stakeholders to stop all actions involving insecurity so that people focus on elections," said Museveni, who addressed reporters moments after Thursday’s close-door meeting with President Kiir.
The South Sudanese leader vowed to consider the advise from his Ugandan counterpart.
"We discussed bilateral issues and we listened to his [President Museveni’s] advise and we will do what he told us," Kiir told reporters in the South Sudanese capital, Juba.
Museveni sent Ugandan People Defense Forces (UPDF) to fight armed opposition forces allied to former South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar in 2014. The Ugandan army helped the disarrayed Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to repel imminent attack on Juba by the strong rebels forces in January 2014.
The UPDF withdrew in 2015 following the signing peace agreement that now hang by thread after clashes resumed in July and forced Machar to flee the young nation.
During his an unannounced visit, Museveni held long discussions with Kiir on peace implementation and restoration of peace to the main Uganda export market.
Museveni said elections will give South Sudanese the chance to decide their future.
"Any other issue that need to be handled will be handled in order to allow elections should be done now," he said.
According to the peace deal that led to formation of transitional government in April this year, elections will be held in July 2018.