Uganda plans South Sudan troops withdraw in April

By STEPHEN KAFEERO and Agencies in KAMPALA, FEB/19/2014, SSN;

Uganda will withdraw its troops from South Sudan starting April to pave way for the deployment of an African peace-keeping force, foreign affairs minister Sam Kuteesa announced Tuesday.

The armed forces will be replaced by the yet to be formed African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) forces.

“Uganda has no desire to keep her troops on South Sudan soil longer than it is necessary. It is in that context that Uganda has proposed, and the Government of South Sudan agrees, on the deployment of ACIRC, consistent with the decision of the AU in January last month,” Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kuteesa said.

“As soon as the ACIRC force comes on board, the 1st contingent of Ugandan forces will return home. I expect this to be in the shortest period of time, which is two months,” said Mr Kuteesa.

The announcement comes just days after the United States, Ethiopia and Khartoum called on Uganda to withdraw its troops from the world’s youngest nation.

Speaking to journalists at the ministry’s headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday, Mr Kuteesa said the AU Peace and Security committee is expected to meet soon to work out modalities for deployment of ACIRC in South Sudan.

“We believe that the deployment of ACIRC is the most logical way to withdraw from South Sudan, without leaving a security vacuum that that can be taken advantage of…” he said.

Countries that have offered to contribute troops to ACIRC include Uganda, Algeria, Angola, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, South Africa, Sudan, and Tanzania.

Mr Kuteesa however dismissed claims that Uganda was forced to withdraw from South Sudan by its development partners. “We have not been under any pressure to leave South Sudan but as a regional player, it is prudent that Uganda gives the ACIRC measure a chance.”

Meanwhile, rebel forces in South Sudan today launched a major assault against the key oil-hub of Malakal, witnesses and officials said.

Aid sources said small arms fire could be heard inside the town after a dawn artillery battle outside the government-held capital of Upper Nile state. The government admitted that the rebels controlled some parts of the town.

Fighting is still continuing.
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To President Museveni: Withdraw our army from South Sudan now

BY: Dr. Kizza Besigye, DAILY MONITOR, KAMPALA, FEB/18/2014, SSN;

It soon became clear that this was not all the UPDF was doing. Mr Museveni himself, in complete contradiction of his Defence Minister and UPDF Chief of Defence Forces, revealed that UPDF was fighting alongside the South Sudan ‘government’ forces in operations against the breakaway SPLA forces.

It is now formal; the UPDF has been hired since December 23, 2013 to defend and protect President Salva Kiir and his government! Therefore, UPDF is in every sense a mercenary outfit in South Sudan.
President Museveni and his ministers have been making a political grandstanding over the deployment of Uganda’s military to South Sudan. They said it was in Uganda’s national interest!

They highlighted the national interests as including the safe repatriation of Ugandans; protecting Ugandan expatriates; and ensuring Uganda’s national security (deny Kony possibility of using South Sudan to attack Uganda).

It soon became clear that this was not all the UPDF was doing. Mr Museveni himself, in complete contradiction of his Defence Minister and UPDF Chief of Defence Forces, revealed that UPDF was fighting alongside the South Sudan ‘government’ forces in operations against the breakaway SPLA forces.

This created many complications. First, it directly endangered Ugandans that were in areas under the ‘rebel’ SPLA. In fact, it has been reported that Ugandans had to claim that they were Kenyans in order to reduce the hostility against them.
Secondly, it complicated the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) initiatives to find a political solution. An important IGAD member and South Sudan neighbour (Uganda) had now become a part of the warring parties; compromising the role of IGAD as a mediator of the conflict.

Thirdly, it opened a pandora’s box in regionalising the South Sudan conflict. Uganda’s regional enemies would be motivated to intervene on the opposite side; cascading into a wide regional war like happened in DR Congo.

For Ugandans, the additional worry was the cost of the war. Again the Ugandan leaders blatantly lied to the country. They said Uganda was meeting the cost and laboured to explain why the country should pay.

Then on Friday, February 14, the South Sudanese defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk cleared the air. He said: “It is the government of South Sudan footing the bill of the operation which started officially on December 23, last year when a fierce fighting broke out in Juba and entered to other towns.”

“We are funding all the activities of UPDF and SPLA in our territory,” he further revealed.

This means our soldiers are hired by South Sudan government to serve their interests. If the national army was in Sudan to serve our national interests, there would be no basis for the South Sudan government to pay them.

It is so sad that our children are dying as hired mercenaries!
This also means Uganda may once again find herself in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for damages that will be occasioned by the activities of the UPDF. Uganda was found culpable by ICJ for the invasion and plunder of DR Congo.
The spokesperson of the ‘rebel’ SPLA has said “It is an obvious revelation that Salva Kiir’s government has already spent hundreds of millions of US dollars of the public money to finance the foreign Ugandan army in order to interfere in the internal matter and carry out a genocidal mission against a section of the citizens of South Sudan.”
Arising out of the above, Mr Museveni and his government should do the following immediately:
- Bring home our troops.
- Pay adequate compensation for our soldiers who died as mercenaries.
- Apologise to IGAD and the people of South Sudan for the reckless interference in internal affairs of South Sudan.

In the meantime, opposition Members of Parliament should demand a formal inquiry into the whole venture of UPDF deployment to South Sudan.

Dr Besigye is former FDC president and political activist

14 Comments

  1. Tyson says:

    Dr Besigye,
    Thanks for the wisdom and the crystal analysis of the implementation of the reckless deployment of UPDF in South Sudan.
    Mr. Museveni should know that using UPDF as mercenaries and supporting a government that is corrupt, lawless, dysfunctional beyond repair and butchering its own people is a bad recipe.
    If you ask the opinion of average South Sudanese (not puppets of those in power or war criminals), neither killer Kiir nor Machar is fit to lead the country. The country needs visionary leaders, fresh minds (outside the SPLM failed system) to stir the country during the interim period.
    Mr. Museveni should have guided his friend (Kiir) on the right direction rather getting drawn to the war because of petro-dollars (for himself and his cohorts). This is a shame!! Now, Uganda cannot escape being involved in genocide and using cluster bombs against innocent defenseless people of South Sudan.
    Mr. Museveni should not bury himself of sinking Kiir. His days are already calculated.

    • Daughter of Equatoria says:

      The world must know;M7 and UPDF are whores for petro-dollars,what a shame for uganda,UPDF for sale no wonder!

  2. j_p_puok says:

    to me, I am always of the understanding that Uganda is a cursed land because after Iddi Amin now came M7 who cares less about the lives of ordinary Ugandans to the armed forces of the land just hiring them out like pieces of jerricans and kiir will easily damped him the merger ss money. as soon as mothers and fathers of those children of children dying in SS aimlessly learn of the gravity their crime they will cry blood

  3. Loku Bara Vuni says:

    Very written Besigye.

    Regards,
    Vuni

  4. monychol says:

    M7 is the butcher of the great lake region and he is in South Sudan for that

  5. The reason why Uganda admitted to withdraw their illegal forces in South Sudan internal affair, was a direct US threat to cut US-Uganda military aid support…. So the Uganda government have decided to coo-operate with US demand or else no US aid for Uganda…. But the Uganda government is too shameful to reveals the truth behind of their unexpected withdrawal from South Sudan…. Even illegal president Kiir is not happy about the bad news of Uganda being force to withdraw from South Sudan internal war….

  6. Kidepo says:

    Thank you Dr. Kizza Besigye!

  7. Kidepo says:

    Dr. Kizza Besigye,

    I would like to extent word of appreciation to your article. It is very precise and to the point with empirical evident.
    Dr Kizza, we are very much surprise of the intention of President Museveni who blindly decided to protect a dinka led Government. Ugandans who had stay in South Sudan or have been with South Sudanese in Uganda or all over the world knows very much the imperialistic behaviors of dinka ethnic tribe in South Sudan most specifically dinka barbaric manners towards foreigners Ugandans inclusive.

    It is the same dinkas who gave hard and indeed night meres to Uganda traders in the Republic of South Sudan by intimidating Ugandans, torturing Ugandans to death as well raping Ugandan women including other beautify South Sudanese women who look similar to Ugandans. If you Dr Kizza right now ask a Ugandan who leaves or had stay in South Sudan how bad dinkas are, he/she will tell you how much they suffered under dinka terrorist government led by Kiir and his dinka ethnic Group.

    I am responding to you because the 3 states of Equatoria bordering Ugandan are the sole victims of dinka led government, the dinkas are telling the 3 states that they are Ugandans and you might have been among those following discussions on this forum. Our people are mistreated and are throughout accused by dinkas as Ugandans just because they are peace loving people like many Ugandans, Kenyan and other Africans. Above all the 3 states of Equatoria are civilized communities.
    This is to inform you that the behaviors of dinka is intolerable and even Kenyans, Tanzanians and all Africans residing in South Sudan have tasted in one way or another the arrogance and dinka intimidations towards other non dinkas and non-Sudanese

    The Dr Riek rebel group which are predominant Nuer are these kinds of communities who do not like or entertain salvagatory manners, hence when Kiir planned to killed Dr Riek he first ordered for disarmament of Nuer of which it back-fired Kiir very badly. The Uganda government under M7 knowing dinka behaviors would have come as peace uniting factor but not to take part in the fight. Meaning whatever the case is M7 supported Kiir and if in future another president comes over apart from Kiir Uganda business traders who have economic interest in SS will pay the price instituted by M7. Dr Riek would have already taken over power if not M7 and this is what the other 62 ethnic communities excluding dinka wanted because they are done with the dinkas

    Print this peace for M7. M7 is not a dinka or Nuer to get involved in a tribal fight!

  8. Hurry Robert says:

    Well Written Dr. Besigye,Museveni is in fact here in Juba today and he has been here the whole day with Kiir,UPDF generals and Kiir’s General.I think Museveni came to see how his messenaries are doing and how the contract he signed with Kiir is being implemented by his forces.For the information of those who are not aware the estimated number of UPDF troops deployed in South Sudan right from Decemebr 2013 to date is over 30000 troops,four helicopter gunships,three fighter jets,20 mamaba battle wagons 18 baffalo battle wagons and several sets of heavy artillaries which have all been used to massacre innnocent civillians in bor leer,bentiu, malakal etc.Museveni must know that we are going to the international court of Justice(ICJ) and he will pay for all the war reparations for the damamges caused by his forces in South Sudan.

  9. Daughter of Equatoria says:

    At last the beginning of the punch-WWE to the monster is at the door! Do not panic yet kiir this is just the beginning of stripping military foreign support from you,now you will have to confront Dr Reformist and pro-democracy forces with your warrap militias! Hohoho kiir you will live to regret as to why you started this poorly calculated military confrontation to Democracy!

  10. Eli says:

    Museveni is sick and he must go, all Ugandans should rise up and overthrow his regime. We South Sudanese love the people of Uganda and we know the problem is only your evil dictator. Museveni killed John Garang and general Ator and many innocent civilians.

  11. Eli says:

    Equatoria for Dr.Riek Machar Teny.

  12. WUNBAAI says:

    Well writters of powers struglers infavour of democrcy,know that there will be no one day find space in leadership siding to your thinking capacity, but you mind that you strugling agingless.

  13. Eli says:

    As Equatorians we should take this opportunity to take back our freedoms and rights from Kirr’s dinka dominations, we are the determining factor in this present up-rise against the dinka SPLA/M. In fact we need to work together and not be intimidated by dinkas anymore and as the doors for enlisting has opened wide it is our moment to join the military and then overthrow the present regime for a better future. Nothing against you dinkas but you have no place in Equatoria anymore. During the war with the North John Garang begged Equatorians to help accommodate displaced dinkas, they cried we sympathized with them but they took advantage of our sympathy. If they are preaching of liberation the real liberation is for them to go back and liberate their swamps from Nuer youth. In Equatoria we want to develop and upscale our systems and bring forth industrialization, building of hydroelectricity dams or fossilized fuel electric generation power house and modern agricultural improvements and to build more roads for people not cows, (grazing lands for animals should be fenced and be fed by animal fodders produced by farmers, there are people around the world who are willing to show us how to do ranching if we ask nicely). We want to build schools for students but not as camp-grounds for IDPs. So to ALL you dinkas, we Equatorians would rather side with Riek; in principles Riek has always worked for independence of S. Sudan while on the other side Garang wanted united Sudan.
    My plea to the peace loving peoples of Equatoria and those in Wau (excluding hate mongers like the dinkas and their likes) we must join hands to take over and bring about just and lasting peace in South Sudan. May God bless the peace loving peoples of South Sudan and our beloved motherland.

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