They are helping the South Sudan army combat rebels in Bor and near the capital, Juba.
The war in South Sudan between the army loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and rebels led by former Vice President Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, has taken a new twist with the intervention of Ugandan troops on the side of the army.
Al Jazeera TV yesterday, January 16, 2014, cited Uganda's President, Yoweri Museveni, as saying the Ugandan People's Defence Force, UPDF troops joined the South Sudanese military and were fighting in Bor, capital of Jonglei State to end a rebellion in the world's newest country. South Sudan's Defence Minister, Kuol Manyang, said UPDF forces number "a battalion."
Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, Uganda's military spokesman, said Ugandan forces were helping loyalist forces flush rebels out of Bor, the strategic town near the capital, Juba, which has seen some of the fiercest clashes since violence broke out in South Sudan on December 15, 2013. He added that UPDF's involvement in South Sudan was not a mandate of the African Union or UN, but a bilateral agreement. News of Uganda's intervention came as rebels claimed they seized the strategic town of Malakal, the capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile State in the northern part of the country.
Riek Machar told Sudan Tribune that his forces recaptured Malakal on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at about 10 am, adding that they were now in full control after flushing out pro-government forces. Meanwhile, Ugandan lawmakers at a special session on Tuesday supported the government's decision to deploy troops in South Sudan. This was despite UN Security Council warnings against external intervention that could exacerbate the conflict.