30 January 2014

South Sudan: S. Sudan Links Withdrawal of Ugandan Army to Full Stability

Juba — South Sudan said Thursday that it would only sanction full and complete withdrawal of Ugandan troops from its territory, upon the complete implementation of the cessation of hostilities that permits return of peace and stability.

South Sudan Foreign Affairs Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin, April 2, 2012 (Getty)

The new nation received military support from its eastern neighbour few days after fighting broke out in mid-December last year between a faction of presidential guards, raising fears that the clashes could deteriorate into a regional conflict, if allowed to escalate.

Members of both the East African Legislative Assembly and Ugandan Parliament welcome the deployment of the Ugandan army (UPDF), despite criticisms from members of the international community who saw the move as an invasion.

Rebel groups led by South Sudan former vice-president Riek Machar openly accused Uganda of fuelling the conflict with the direct participations of its troops alongside the government forces.

Norway, one of countries that played a critical role the 2005 peace deal ending the North-South Sudan civil war, on Wednesday said it was now time for Uganda to start withdrawing its troops from the world's youngest nation to avoid worsening the crisis.

South Sudan's foreign minister, however, told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that his government would not need any additional troops from the neighbouring Uganda.

"With the cessation of hostilities now signed, we hope that peace and calm will come and government we will not need the additional involvement of Ugandan troops," said Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

Last week, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, the spokesperson of the UPDF said their forces did not intend stay in the world's youngest nation for long.

"UPDF not intent on staying for long in South Sudan;" he said in a tweet after a visit to the Ugandan troops in Bor on 24 January.

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