Uganda People’s Defence Forces [UPDF] has clarified that it is not re-deploying to South Sudan where fighting has resumed with greater vigour.
This came at the same time first vice president Riek Machar’s spokesperson claimed the Juba government was entreating Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to send troops to the capital.
“President Salva Kiir’s group is calling on Uganda to send troops to Juba to help it fight against SPLA-IO,” James Gatdet Dak said Sunday evening.
He termed it as another unconstitutional act for foreign interference in “our internal affairs”.
He hoped Uganda will refuse to send troops.
Dak also claimed that President Kiir’s forces today targeted General Peter Bol Kong, who is their governor of Bieh state, which he created among the controversial 28 states.
“They fought with his forces in Juba. The motive behind the attack on their own official remains unclear.”
UPDF denies returning to South Sudan
Reports also circulated on social media that Ugandan troops had been seen crossing Gulu district enroute the border with South Sudan Nimule on Sunday.
Army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, dismissed the report as false.
“Let me be clear: UPDF has not deployed in South Sudan,” Ankunda said.
He added: “We do not have even a single soldier in Juba.”
UPDF last entered South Sudan in December 2013 following an alleged coup in the capital.
The Ugandan army managed to secure key security installations in Juba and later the key town of Bor in Jonglei state.
They were, however, forced to pull out of South Sudan in November 2015 following the August peace agreement.
According to Information and ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze, the mission of UPDF in South Sudan was not to side with any party but to provide peace for all.