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  We have today 12,000 troops from United Nations of all troops from the world -- are you asking for them to be withdrawn?"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

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Kikwata from: Kampala
January 31, 2014 1:41 PM
Let IGAD look into this very careful in respect of all stakeholders, withdrawing of Ugandan troop is ok but will it help the region.

by: Salah Pitia from: yei
January 31, 2014 12:55 PM
Uganda must stay in south sudan as long south sudan need them becouse if not uganda, then there would have been a real genocid. therefor those who advocad uganda to live are vis versa of genocid. Riek shoud not put a condition when he need pease if he real mean pease.

by: haj from: uganda
January 31, 2014 10:35 AM
Uganda must stay in south sudan until ful stability is acheived if not then there sould be no withdrawal of its troop becoz some of the country like sudan with harber terrories want war to continue which may affect the whole of east africa
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.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

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 After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

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 Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

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 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs