South Sudan

SPLA troops guard Ugandan traders in Juba

SPLA soldiers stand in a vehicle in Juba December 20, 2013. Talks between South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and African mediators trying to broker a peace deal after six days of clashes between rival army factions are progressing well, Ethiopia's foreign minister said. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (SOUTH SUDAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST MILITARY POLITICS ELECTIONS)

SPLA soldiers 

Juba government has deployed troops in markets and other public places of the country to protect Ugandan traders.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir issued a decree ordering SPLA to protect foreign nationals in the capital following renewed clashes with former deputy president Riek Machar.

Uganda State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Oryem Okello told Uganda Radio Network the deployment follows an agreement between the two countries to ensure guaranteed peace and security for the traders.

A food crisis is already brewing in the country coupled by skyrocketing inflation figures.

South Sudan’s inflation rate increased 661.3 percent during the past year, according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

In the past month alone, the price of goods increased nearly 80 percent across the country, reports URN.

URN further quotes Major General Julius Oketta, a senior commander in the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) saying even a regional force will not end South Sudan crisis.

Oketta, the former director of National Emergency Coordination and Operations, in the Office of the Prime Minister says that the deployment of peacekeepers will only stop direct confrontation between warring factions but cannot address the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan.

He says the conflicts in Juba are sparked off by tribalism and copious military groups under different commands adding that South Sudan built its army and Government on tribalism which will take more than deployment of peacekeepers to resolve.

His comments come just days after the United States suggested that the United Nations Security Council authorizes a force of 4,000 peacekeepers for South Sudan’s capital Juba.

The draft seeks to approve a regional protection force “to use all necessary means, including undertaking robust and active steps and engaging in direct operations where necessary,” to secure the South Sudan.


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