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Friday, 14 February 2014

Cat and mouse games between USA and her booty licking slave states : Withdraw troops from South Sudan, US tells Uganda: Government to US: We won’t leave S. Sudan

Government to US: We won’t leave S. Sudan

UPDF soldiers guard Juba Airport recently. The government says the army will not leave South Sudan until normalcy returns.
UPDF soldiers guard Juba Airport recently. The government says the army will not leave South Sudan until normalcy returns. COURTESY PHOTO.  

By Barbara Among

Posted  Monday, February 10  2014 at  02:00
In Summary
Army and government officials insist the UPDF will stay put because of the possible implications of the conflict in South Sudan on Uganda’s economy and security. 

Uganda will not withdraw its troops from South Sudan as demanded by the US government, military and foreign affairs officials have said.
US President Barack Obama’s government at the weekend issued a strongly-worded statement, calling for the withdrawal of foreign forces that have been deployed to quell the internal conflict between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.

“We urge the redeployment or phased withdrawal of foreign forces invited by either side, and warn of the serious consequences which could result from any regionalisation of this conflict,” said Ms Jen Psaki, a State Department spokesperson, in the statement.
Whereas the statement did not directly mention Uganda, the UPDF is currently the only foreign force deployed in South Sudan, fighting alongside troops loyal to President Kiir.
The army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, yesterday said Uganda would stick to what was agreed by regional leaders.
“We went to help South Sudanese people when everybody else ran away. Now here they are giving us orders. We will follow the Addis Ababa agreement in consultation with the South Sudan government. We are members of Igad and cannot violate our own agreement,” he said.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), which has brokered a temporary ceasefire between the warring groups, recently approved the deployment of a 5,500 strong force to keep the truce.
It was not clear whether Uganda’s troops already in South Sudan would automatically be part of this force. Mr Machar’s group has continuously demanded the UPDF withdraws as one of the conditions for observing a truce.
Government’s take
The government position was reinforced by Mr Fred Opolot, the spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs ministry, who said the UPDF will stay put because of the possible implications of the conflict in South Sudan on Uganda’s economy and security.
“The instability in South Sudan makes Uganda vulnerable to negative forces like the LRA who could re-enter the country and Uganda cannot allow that to happen,” said Mr Opolot.

“African problems warrant African solutions but with the support of the international community, Uganda will continue to work under the Igad arrangement until peace returns to South Sudan,” he added.
Mr Opolot also said Uganda had entered South Sudan with the blessing of President Kiir and that it had also received clearance from regional governments to protect key installations in the restive nation.
Asked for the Presidency’s view on the US demand, the President’s spokesperson, Mr Tamale Mirundi, said: “The President’s decision to deploy in South Sudan was endorsed by Parliament. I would be worried if the US said if Uganda does not leave South Sudan, we will declare war. It is just an opinion, for the sake of big power politics.”
Norway recently made a similar call to have the UPDF withdrawn from South Sudan which went largely unnoticed. The US pronouncement, however, is significant considering its economic and security ties with Uganda. For example, the US is the largest funder of Uganda’s mission in Somalia, where the UPDF is heading a regional peace-keeping mission.
Ms Psaki also raised concern over repeated claims of violations of the ceasefire agreement by both South Sudan’s government and rebels. Meanwhile, negotiations between Kiir’s government and the rebels are scheduled to resume on February 13 in Addis Ababa.
There is no more fighting in south sudan, says updf
The UPDF has said a combined force of the Ugandan army and the SPLA has weakened the South Sudan rebels and pushed them to a far-away place from which they cannot fight anymore.
The UPDF spokesperson, Col Paddy Ankunda, while reacting to claims by the rebels that they had hit a Ugandan helicopter gunship, killing a Lance Corporal who was a gunner, dismissed the claim as a pack of lies.
“There is no fighting and that is why the rebels have resorted to telling lies. You know it is easier to say you have shot down a plane when there is no shoot out,” Col Ankunda said.

The cessation in fighting has been attributed to a recently signed truce during peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Ugandan helicopter was allegedly damaged on Friday afternoon in the South Sudanese central State of Lakes, the rebels’ spokesperson, Brig Gen Lul Ruai Koang, told the Sudan Tribune.

Withdraw troops from South Sudan, US tells Uganda

UPDF spokesperson Paddy Ankunda addresses journalists at the army
UPDF spokesperson Paddy Ankunda addresses journalists at the army headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala recently. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA  


Posted  Thursday, February 13  2014 at  02:00
In Summary

UPDF spokesperson Paddy Ankunda drops line that they will stay put in South Sudan, adding Foreign Affairs will respond to call. 

KAMPALA- The Uganda army must leave South Sudan territory to stem genocide and allow citizens there enjoy a future of peace and prosperity they voted for, two top US government officials have said.
Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama’s new top diplomat for Africa, Ms Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the cessation of hostilities agreement signed between the Government of South Sudan and renegade Riek Machar forces also requires foreign troops to pull back to defensive positions.
“We feel deeply committed, given past lessons, to try to prevent the chaos and the genocide that too often comes [out] of the violence that can occur if things break down,” Mr Kerry told journalists during a virtual press conference on Tuesday. “We don’t want this to cascade into a more violent repetition of the past. So, that’s why we’re committed.”
The fighting between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar broke out on December 15. Uganda sent it’s troops several days later to fight alongside forces loyal to President Kiir.
An estimated 8,000 people are said to have been killed and thousands displaced from their homes since December 15.
Ugandan officials, in response to Washington’s initial February 8 call for withdrawal of foreign forces, insisted the UPDF were invited by President Kiir and would stay put on South Sudan soil, but that position seems under consideration.
“The government of Uganda will, through appropriate channels and particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prepare a response to the US call [for UPDF withdrawal],” said military spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, declining further comment.
Withdrawal of Ugandan troops, the only foreign force that raced to prop up Kiir’s faltering government, is one of pre-conditions set by Machar’s group at the ongoing IGAD-brokered talks in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia has joined Norway in publicly asking the UPDF to leave.
Both Ms Thomas-Greenfield and Secretary Kerry said they will remain deeply involved in issues of South Sudan because the US government under various administrations invested heavily to secure its independence from Sudan.
Intra-SPLA clashes snowballed into countrywide violence in December, last year, claiming thousands of lives, according to the UN. President Kiir accused Machar of attempting a coup, but the former vice president denied the charges.

On Tuesday, Ms Thomas-Greenfield flagged democracy and good governance, LRA and other conflicts, gay rights and possible extension of AGOA – a legislation granting selected African countries tariff and quota-free exports to the US as priorities in US engagement with Africa.