News / Africa

    Uganda Lawmakers Demand Answers about Troops in South Sudan

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, November 30, 2012.
    Peter Clottey
    Members of Uganda’s parliament are demanding answers from President Yoweri Museveni after deploying troops from the national army to South Sudan without seeking parliamentary authorization as enshrined in the constitution, according to parliamentarian Medard Sseggona.

    On his recent visit to South Sudan as part of an effort to help resolve the security crisis there, Museveni said East African nations have warned South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar to comply with a cease-fire or face action by regional nations.

    But Sseggona says it was inappropriate for Museveni to interfere in South Sudan’s internal affairs, which he says could create tension and worsen the security situation there due to that country’s ethnic complexities.

    “The president threatened Riek Machar with pulling him out of the bush, which is not our political, economic or social interest to interfere with the internal affairs of the government of South Sudan,” said Sseggona.

    He says Museveni contravened the constitution by deploying troops from the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) to South Sudan without parliamentary approval.

    “We are asking for an explanation as to how the government deployed our forces in South Sudan without consulting and obtaining a parliamentary resolution as required by article 210 of our constitution,” said Sseggona. “We demand to know how many of our children have died in South Sudan [and] two how many of our soldiers have been deployed in South Sudan and for how long? Because it would appear we might be there forever.”

    But supporters of the government rejected the lawmakers’ demands as a publicity stunt. They contend that President Museveni has the constitutional mandate to protect citizens irrespective of where they are, and has deployed the troops to evacuate Ugandans trapped in South Sudan due to the conflict there.

    “We want the president to tell us how many people he has rescued from South Sudan,” said Sseggona. “We’ve actually demanded that parliament be recalled to discuss this [South Sudan] crisis, because we are risking Ugandans by threatening to intervene or to interfere in an internal conflict.”

    Uganda foreign ministry spokesman Fred Opolot told VOA that the UPDF troops are in South Sudan to protect and evacuate citizens.

    “Our major concern is to ensure that [our citizens] are safe, and if not they are evacuated so that process is ongoing,” said Opolot. “Uganda People’s Defense Forces [are] in Juba to secure the airport, in order to ensure that the evacuation process goes very smoothly.”

    Opolot denied reports that the government in Kampala sent UPDF troops to support South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir in the ongoing conflict in Africa’s newest nation.

    But Sseggona says the legislators demands are legitimate and in accordance with the constitution.

    “We must know in specific terms what are our interests; the political, economic and social interests,” said Sseggona. “Apart from good neighborliness, apart from rescuing our sons and daughters who may be faced with death in South Sudan, we must know the broader and long term objective in South Sudan.”
    Clottey interview with Medard Lubega Sseggona, Ugandan legislator
    Clottey interview with Medard Lubega Sseggona, Ugandan legislatori
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Fred akiiki from: ugandan in juba
    January 06, 2014 10:30 PM
    no the UPDF are here 2 protect ug citizen &to evaquet them out the south Sudan country

    by: Magendo from: Canada
    January 05, 2014 2:56 AM
    The unilateral decision made by Mr. President is just as good as a HolyWood stunt, which doesn't reflect Ugandan values at all. Ugandans are not war mongers and Mr. President shouldn't use the war in South Sudan, as a ticket for foreign aid compaign.

    by: Magona from: Uganda
    January 04, 2014 2:56 AM
    M7 always has his interests

    by: Magona from: Uganda
    January 04, 2014 2:53 AM
    Its good but m7 has 2 obey the constitution

    by: Nelson from: USA
    January 03, 2014 3:41 PM
    Uganda president Museveni, did good for taking part in South Sudan. East Africans are not only neighbors, but they are brothers, or sisters. So, why shouldn't they help each other or solve there problems. I strongly supported Uganda president, with his move. Becsuse president Museveni, is always a great father, brother and leader to all of us in East Africa or whole Africa. No change Museveni, you the best.

    by: Leko from: East London
    January 02, 2014 7:43 PM
    I'm beginning to respect M7 , leaders must be allowed to take decisions and act accordingly . preventing further crimes these rebels are committing . Opposition he received from his backyard is ineffective as MDC in Zimbabwe .
    Any democratic elected government must be protected by African forces ... unlike the mess happening in CAR , its a blunder to protect self-proclaimed president in that country - his a rebel - and I'm glad South Africa is not involved anymore there . If our soldiers have go there , they must assist in election process only.

    by: Alem
    January 01, 2014 10:27 PM
    Museveni is out to repeat his robbery in the Congo in South Sudan. Just wait. As with Ethiopian leaders he will run errands for the West in the process of which he will remain in power indefinitely, embezzle aid money, silence any opposition and get paid tens of millions dollars.
    In Response

    by: Morris from: Juba
    January 02, 2014 3:50 AM
    Museveni Should open his eyes, Instead of mediating peace he is now involved in air bombardment, We south Sudanese denounce his act.

    by: Anonymous
    January 01, 2014 4:31 PM
    Who is fooling who? There are no law makers in Uganda to speak of other than the junta jungle laws, everything else is just to fool the West that gives aid that Uganda has institutions. It has none, gun totting tyrants full of greed cannot operate where there are credible institutions. The only role of Museveni now is geopolitics for the West, just like Mubarak & now Al-Sisi of Egypt kept/keep a yoke on a nation to enrich themselves etc. Such leaders are of no use to their nations' posterity & progress. It is fool hardy to imagine law makers in Uganda or Egypt have any say. For Uganda unless Museveni is looking for a way to run out of the trouble he finds himself in after careless pronouncements in Juba to go after Machar-which he cannot manage alone without USA and major UN and AU support for that war adventure
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    January 02, 2014 1:19 AM
    The President has been interfering in many Countries. I am surprised the lawmakers are asking Museveni to ask the parliament first. When Uganda sent troops on several occasion in DRC the same lawyers never ask him to ask the parliament. Where were these lawyers? The President is running the Country as his own home by doing whatever pleases him. Parliament does not mean anything for him. That his leadership style. The President has abused the office and I think his time is running out. His doing the same as other dictators did but never learned a lesson. I think there is a Powerful demon that blind all these leaders. They never learn from the past.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora