Gunmen ambush UPDF in S.Sudan, shoot 3 soldiers


UPDF soldiers enroute South Sudan this morning

A convoy of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) that left Thursday morning for a rescue mission of Ugandans trapped in South Sudan following fresh clashes the Capital Juba has reportedly been attacked.

UPDF this morning started its journey to South Sudan to evacuate Ugandans who are trapped following fresh clashes that have so far claimed more than 300 people.

“UPDF now on South Sudan territory to rescue trapped Ugandans,” army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda tweeted.

Convoy attacked  

But on their way, one of the 40 UPDF trucks carrying army officers was attacked at Pagiri, Magwi County in Eastern Equatorial by unknown gunmen.

Fourth Division Spokesperson, Lt Hassan Kato, confirmed the attack but declined to reveal more details on grounds that it would jeopardise the UPDF’s rescue mission.

Ankunda too confirmed the attack saying gunmen had ambushed the convoy as it headed to the capital Juba.

“Yes, its true but the ambush was repulsed,” Ankunda told Insider on phone.

He said three UPDF soldiers got minor injuries during the attack.

“The convoy however continued on its way safely.”

Asked when he expects the convoy to rescue Ugandans, Ankunda said that would depend on how fast it arrives at its destination.


The report first came out on Wednesday but Kato said UPDF had then not yet entered the warring state.

“UPDF has not yet entered South Sudan, they are not there and we haven’t gotten into contact with any armed force in south Sudan. It’s true that we (UPDF) are in preparation of receiving our people who have been trapped following the fighting,” Lt Kato is quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Lt Kato noted that the UPDF is on an evacuation mission in South Sudan and nothing more.

On Tuesday, President Museveni ordered the evacuation of Ugandans trapped in South Sudan following fresh clashes that erupted last week between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to his vice Dr Riek Machar claiming more than 300 with thousands displaced.


One of UPDF’s armoured trucks

South Sudan opposition speaks

First vice president Riek Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak,  said Ugandan troops had crossed into South Sudan “under the pretext to evacuate their citizens yet in 2013, they joined Kiir’s war under the same pretext”.

“I have just received a reliable report from Nimule that Ugandan troops have just crossed into South Sudan through Nimule border.”

Dak said it was contrary to their government’s earlier assertion that they will not redeploy in South Sudan like they did from December 2013 and took President Salva Kiir’s side in the internal fighting.

“And why would President Kiir be starting a war and then run to Uganda to fight it for him? Where is the so-called sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan that he and his colleagues have been bragging about?”

He said the deployment of Ugandan troops will encourage President Kiir’s forces to violate the ceasefire and resume fighting.

“The international community should not allow foreign enemy forces to further escalate the situation.”

In 2013, Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) deployed thousands of troops to South Sudan under the pretext that they were evacuating their citizens, but ended up fighting for Salva Kiir for two years in Equatoria and Upper Nile regions, Dak suggested.

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