News / Africa

Uganda Parliament to Debate Additional Troops to South Sudan

Three children walk through a spontaneous camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.
Three children walk through a spontaneous camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.
Peter Clottey
Uganda’s parliament plans to begin debate Tuesday about President Yoweri Museveni’s request seeking approval to deploy additional troops to South Sudan, to help stabilize the security situation there, according to legislator Muwanga Kivumbi Muhammed.

Muhammed, a leading member of the parliamentary committee on Defense and Internal Affairs says lawmakers will demand answers from the government on how long troops from the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) will stay in South Sudan, as well as the role they will play in the ongoing conflict.

Some parliamentarians accused President Yoweri Museveni of contravening the constitution by failing to seek parliamentary approval before deploying troops to South Sudan to evacuate Ugandan citizens trapped there due to the conflict.
 
“We want to know the level of involvement of Uganda in South Sudan and we are there on whose invitation? Which organ? Is it IGAD [regional bloc] is it the African Union? Which arrangement are we in South Sudan? Or are we there as a mercenary to help Salva Kiir. These details we need to know,” said Muhammed. 

Muhammed says the government has refused to provide legislators with the exact number of UPDF troops that have so far been deployed to South Sudan citing security concerns.

“[A minister] observed that the question of where our troops could be and how many should be deployed in South Sudan, is an operational detail which can jeopardize the lives of our troops and he was reluctant to give us the details,” said Muhammed.

South Sudan’s former vice president Riek Machar accused the UPDF of supporting troops loyal to President Salva Kiir in the conflict. Kampala denies the charge.

Some parliamentarians like Muhammed contend that the UPDF’s alleged support for Mr. Kiir could endanger the lives of more Ugandans in South Sudan, since Uganda could be seen as taking sides in the conflict.

“Uganda should not be seen to be partisan, in a conflict [of] a sovereign country. We also believe that troops and boots and guns cannot have a lasting solution to South Sudan,” said Muhammed. “We think this is squarely a political issue, which must have a political answer and therefore third party arbiters need to have clean hands and to be seen to be credible so that they can reinforce and earn the trust of both sides.”

Muhammed says the administration appears not to have an official request from South Sudan to deploy troops to that country.

“[We asked] do you have an official invitation by the government of South Sudan, requesting the intervention of Ugandan troops? The Defense Minister said it was only the office of the president [that] can answer that question,” said Muhammed.                                                
He says some lawmakers will pressure the administration to provide more answers about Ugandans in South Sudan.

“As of now they don’t know how many [citizens] have been killed in South Sudan [and] they don’t have exact figures of how many Ugandans are in South Sudan. No one has the figures,” said Muhammed. “We even don’t know which areas exactly are all Ugandans located.

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.”

Officials say over 20,000 Ugandans have been evacuated from South Sudan due to the South Sudan conflict.
Clottey interview with Muwanga Kivumbi Muhammed, Uganda parliamentarian
Clottey interview with Muwanga Kivumbi Muhammed, Uganda parliamentariani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mayen ngor from: juba South sudan
January 15, 2014 8:01 AM
The disploy of Ugandan forces in s Sudan is something vary important and suitable because this can support our government in order to end up the rebel in our country

by: Tarjal Chuol from: Addis ababa
January 15, 2014 4:14 AM
Uganda involvement in the internal affair of s.Sudan will have nagetive impact on Ugandan gov't in the long run international relation.people of Uganda will still suffering despite the security gained by kirr in s.Sudan b/c internal conflict between civilian will continuous and could not leave Ugandan untouch b/c they are party to this war.direct involvement is already observed b/c many Uganda soldiers were killed in many clashes where rebel defeated the gov't farce and gots dead body of Uganda soldier.the defend that Uganda troops go there for evacuation is some how vague b/c even the war field is very far from where Ugandan citezen to be evacuated are located.

by: freddie from: kampala
January 14, 2014 12:32 PM
its not under museven or ug i live wid south sudans under going education i ug i feel it wen i hear is village is gone so wat in the world wil some one let people kill each other anless u hav an intession of taking over their country

by: Michelle from: Nairobi
January 14, 2014 7:27 AM
In addition I find it rather strange that the decision of whether or not to send in more troops is being discussed in Kampala. What say does South Sudan have in all this? There should be at the very least some form of request through the AU for additional support. Is it being unilaterally decided by Uganda?

by: solomon Balikurungi from: Kampala
January 14, 2014 5:03 AM
As Africans we love peace,there is no way you see neighbors killing each other and you remain in your home to enjoy the meal.I support our beloved president in his goal towards peace in Africa
long live H.E. Y.K.M
In Response

by: Michelle from: Nairobi
January 14, 2014 7:22 AM
I honestly cannot understand why in the world Uganda is poking its nose into other peoples business. How is a country sovereign if you have foreign troops walking in and out of the country. I cannot understand why no one is calling Uganda out on this. If there is need for assistance from another country there are procedures to be followed. East Africa should be weary of such actions.

by: Kiir from: Juba
January 14, 2014 4:06 AM
Museveni thought he solving the problem of S. Sudan, but he making it worsen. I don't think that Uganda is powerful than Sudan fought S. Sudanese for 21 years and no body give up. Shame on Museveni

by: onon from: Adelaide
January 13, 2014 6:48 PM
Museveni should stop involving himself in any affairs in south Sudan.
South Sudan is not like DRC he used to send UPDF to loot and invest the resources. If Kony if defeating him. How big shame on him of sending the troop to South Sudan.
We have 150 tribes in the country, why do they not involves themselves in its affairs? museveni should not create enmity betn Ugandan people and the rest of south Sudanese tribe especially the equatorian.
In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
January 14, 2014 2:02 AM
Here in Somalia the true powerful president is Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, because we have almost 10,000 well armed Ugandian troops who take care the security of local government. Therefore the so called local president Hassan Shiekh and his 500 ministerial cabinets are just nominal species. They work under Museveni's instructions. The reason is; we could not stop slaughtering one another on tribal/clan basis for more than 21 years. Museveni troops intervened citing that they wanted to stop the civil war and save Somalia from itself.
Now what's happening in S. Sudan is clearly another horrific Somalia in the making. If SS do not stop the brewing civil war very quickly, soon you will find yourselves forced to work for free under the rules of Museveni's troops.
People of Dinka and Nuer, please wake up before it's too late!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs