News / Africa

Uganda Denies Troops Supporting South Sudan Leader

Internally displaced boys stand next to barbed wire inside a United Nations Missions in Sudan (UNMIS) compound in Juba December 19, 2013.
Internally displaced boys stand next to barbed wire inside a United Nations Missions in Sudan (UNMIS) compound in Juba December 19, 2013.
Peter Clottey
A spokesman for Uganda’s Foreign Ministry has denied reports that the government in Kampala sent troops from the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) to support South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir in the ongoing conflict in Africa’s newest nation.

Fred Opolot said the UPDF troops would this week attempt to rescue about 2,000 Ugandan citizens trapped in South Sudan. The conflict there between supporters of President Kiir and the former vice president, Riek Marcher has reportedly left more than 500 people killed, and has forced tens of thousands of people to flee from their homes.

“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.”

The violence in South Sudan erupted after President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, accused former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, of attempting a coup.  Machar, who is in hiding, denied the accusation.

Opolot rejected suspicions that President Yoweri Museveni supported South Sudan’s leader in the conflict.

“Those suspicions are completely unfounded,” said Opolot.  “We have a lot of Ugandans in South Sudan and their security is of the most importance for us right now. It is our focus.  So in as far as the UPDF is in South Sudan to prop up Salva Kiir, that is not true, and they are unfounded.”

Last week, President Barack Obama sent 45 U.S. service personnel to the region on a mission he said is aimed at protecting U.S. personnel and the U.S. embassy.  In a White House statement issued during the weekend, President Obama stressed the importance of the U.S. evacuation mission and said South Sudan's leaders had a responsibility to assist U.S. efforts.

Opolot said the government in Kampala was ensuring that citizens trapped due to the conflict in neighboring South Sudan are safe and would evacuate those directly affected by the conflict.

He expressed concern about the safety of Ugandan citizens trapped in Jonglei state at the U.N. base where there have been reports of fierce fighting.  Opolot said Uganda troops would this week attempt to evacuate citizens from the U.N. base.

“UPDF will attempt to make sure that they are rescued.  But obviously, they have been facing some fire from the fighters there,” said the spokesman.

He said Uganda wanted to be part of the solution to help resolve the conflict in South Sudan.

“At the onset of these troubles, President Museveni did try to engage Salva Kiir,” said Opolot.

He said Uganda’s minister for international relations was part of the African Union-led delegation that held a series of meetings with both warring parties as part of an effort to resolve the conflict.

Clottey interview with Fred Opolot, Uganda foreign ministry spokesman
Clottey interview with Fred Opolot, Uganda foreign ministry spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lwanga Charles from: Kampala Uganda
December 23, 2013 2:30 AM
Uganda participated in the first revolution of liberating the nation of South Sudan. But currently the affairs of south sudan is not all about fighting on political grounds but just asevere war between the Dinkas and Noeurs. i believe Uganda cant participate indirectly in the current affairs of South Sudan.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid