Juba — Uganda's leader, Yoweri Museveni's alleged remarks that he would "hang himself" should his country's security situation reach South Sudan's level has outraged several officials and citizens of the new nation. He reportedly uttered these statements last week while campaigning for a member of his ruling party (NRM) in a bi-election held in the Uganda's central district of Luweero.
"Museveni's disparaging remarks don't perturb me at all. His attitude towards us and our leaders is informed by the manner we conducted ourselves during the war of liberation and after the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which landed us in the mess we are in", South Sudan's ex-minister for higher education, Peter Adwok Nyaba commented on Saturday.
"We played with our resources that Uganda became South Sudan's supermarket for second hand merchandise as well as purchases of real estates instead of investing in our country. We should just lick our wounds quietly," he further said.
Peter Bashir Gbandi, the country's deputy foreign affairs minister said president Museveni's remarks may have drawn mixed reactions, but the bi-lateral relations between the two countries remained strong.
"We have noted the remarks attributed to the Ugandan president have received mixed reactions and created anger but as a government we have a way to handle it", he said.
"We will not react in the media", added the minister.
The foreign affairs minister further told Sudan Tribune that a sovereign state with sovereign leadership and authority, handles such matters in a way that does not create misunderstanding with other countries.
He did not, however, elaborate much on how the world's youngest nation would react to the Ugandan leader's remarks, but affirmed that relations between the two countries would remain strong.
"Our relations with the government and the people of Uganda are strong and progressively moving forward. The remarks may have created some displeasures but I am sure our relations would continue to grow", argued minister Gbandi.
Manut Akec Madut, a native of Warrap state, argued that the Ugandan leader's remarks were mere political statements to garner votes from the Ugandan electorates and hence made no sense.
"For sure, no one would deny the support the government of Uganda and its people under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, but this support cannot be abused because we also know challenges his government had undergone since ascending to power military means in 1986", said Madut.
"If people could hang themselves because of security matters, [then] president Museveni would have hanged himself long time ago", he added, citing Museveni's alleged failure to end the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebellion in northern Uganda.
The LRA was a regional security threat that saw Uganda appeal to the international intervention because the rebels were committing atrocities beyond Uganda's borders, Madut told Sudan Tribune.
"The LRA was not defeated by the government of Uganda. The rebellion was squeezed and moved out of South Sudan to the forests inside Central African [Republic] because of the extension of the atrocities beyond Ugandan territories", he added.