News / Africa

Uganda Says Troops Will Stay in South Sudan

A general view shows the opening ceremony of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 30, 2014.
A general view shows the opening ceremony of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Jan. 30, 2014.
Gabe Joselow
Uganda says it will not fully withdraw its forces from South Sudan, despite concerns their continued presence is complicating efforts to bring peace to the country. Uganda’s role in the conflict is under scrutiny at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

Uganda’s military has taken credit for helping to stop rebel forces in South Sudan, and for recapturing the city of Bor, north of the capital.

But a cease-fire deal signed last week between South Sudan’s government and the rebels calls for the progressive withdrawal or redeployment of allied forces in the country.

Speaking after a heads of state meeting of the East African regional group IGAD on the sidelines of the AU summit Friday, Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa said his country’s forces are not withdrawing from their positions in South Sudan.

“No, we have stayed where we are.  Actually we are not advancing ourselves, we just stopped the rebels from advancing southwards, but it’s the government that has been fighting,” he said.

Uganda initially sent troops into the country at the invitation of the South Sudanese government in December, after fighting broke out in the capital of Juba, the result of a political fallout within the ruling party.

Uganda's withdrawal from the country was a key demand of rebel negotiators.

South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin defended the presence of Ugandan troops, noting they were in the country before the conflict to fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army.

“Don’t forget we are a sovereign state, said Benjamin. "How many armies are fighting in DRC?  We have today 12,000 troops from United Nations of all troops from the world -- are you asking for them to be withdrawn?"

Sudan, which has taken sides with South Sudan’s government during the conflict, has also expressed concerns about Ugandan forces moving too close to the Sudanese border.

“To me, until now, there is no threat, but it could have been a threat if they are near to our borders or if they are colliding with negative forces who are already playing their role in South Sudan,” said Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Kharti.

All three countries are members of IGAD, which has taken the lead in mediating talks between the warring parties.

IGAD envoys Friday called for teams to be sent to South Sudan within 48 hours to start monitoring the cease-fire before negotiations resume on February 7.

Reports of continued fighting from both sides have already threatened the week-old deal.

Speaking at the meeting, U.S. Special Envoy to South Sudan Donald Booth warned  “there will be consequences” for anyone who tries to undermine the peace process.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: sentamu from: juba
February 02, 2014 2:09 PM
juba would be also destroyed to zero if updf was absent en machar shud ve waited for elections first instead of trying out a coup that has resulted into more death en distruction of properties than in 1991 massacre he led

by: Ngong Garang from: Aweil South Sudan
February 02, 2014 11:10 AM
Why should they withdraw? Let them bring peace by chasing away the rebels because UN just fuel conflict instead of bringing peace and solution to the problem.

by: bejanybenjamin from: kampala/uganda
February 02, 2014 10:42 AM
Uganda troops must to leave south Sudan if they want peace to return to s.s ,secondly salva kiir must to resigned..for implementation of ceasefire

by: bejanybenjamin from: kampala uganda
February 02, 2014 10:27 AM
DA solution will be dA withdraw of Uganda troops from south Sudan and resignation of saliva kiir

by: kuch aka birdman from: ug,kampala
February 02, 2014 1:02 AM
There is no needs for museveni wildraw his troops out of s.s cause he is doing right
Depite s.s can not mantain peace by it self you can see who is doing right things president or vice no one so museveni is there to help s.s

by: simon from: United states
February 01, 2014 9:28 PM
We as a south sudanese in the U.S are asking ugandan troops to leave south Sudan as soon as possible because the present of ugandan troops in the country will delay the peace deal

by: Anonymous
February 01, 2014 4:22 PM
UN/US will just tell Museveni to pull out his forces and he do as ordered once the chaos the mercenary presence is causing becomes obvious to his bosses. Bashir can just fly in two or three Antenov flights s to bomb some positions and hell will break lose, it is a matter of time before the rebels resist or get help to resist the continued attacks by Kiir and his mercenaries. A one sided approach is counter productive. USA did not stablize Iraq or Afghanistan, and Somalia is as shaky despite the many armies there and all the money UN/EU spends there S-Sudan needs a comprehensive solution, not propping up of a warlord-Kiir who is trying to stifle constitutional rule and inhibit democratic processes.

by: David Mabil from: Zimbabwe
February 01, 2014 1:57 AM
Although Ugandan troops stay in South Sudan for so long, there will be no real peace in South Sudan, if Kiir remains there as a President of the nation. Somebody who made such massacre can not be allowed to rule again. When Kiir and Museveni planed this war they thought that it will be short and easy. Let's wait and see what this upcoming peace talk will bring....

by: Anonymous
January 31, 2014 8:07 PM
Uganda,s withdrawal is the first thing detainees are going to ask when both splm are back to negotiating table. Failure to withdraw Ugandan troop will ignite a war that will be more aggressive than last cycle.

by: Anonymous
January 31, 2014 4:05 PM
To Speed up the withdraw of Museveni's militia that is helping the SPLM faction of Kiir, Mr Bashir(Khartoum) needs to send his fighters down too. That is the only way the Uganda regime can get to its senses and UN can act faster to force Kiir to act fast.
The notion that Museveni is looking for Kony in S-Sudan is a fallacy. S-Sudan needs genuine democracy and reform, but not another warlord like Museveni and Kagame that rule by oppression and suppression of opposition. Ethiopia and Kenya may need to act more assertively too to have a proper mechanism to help the S-Sudan groups live together. The approach of Museveni to impose a dictator stranglehold on S-Sudan is a recipe for suffering for a very long time, it will be resisted. The coup myth alleged by Kiir has been debunked by almost everyone now.
Comments page of 2

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.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs