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Oguttu: Uganda Must Pull Troops from S. Sudan, Somalia

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website http://cidem.ec/components/com_kunena/template/ja_platon/html/category/edit.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>In a charged response to the State of Nation Address on Thursday, pills http://compuaprende.com/components/com_community/templates/jomsocial/layouts/apps.about.php Oguttu said by now UPDF should have fully trained the Somalis to fight the Al Shabaab extremists and consolidate their security instead of allowing Ugandan troops to die in the war.


The UPDF in Somalia are operating under the mandate of African Union.


AU has been renewing UPDF’s mandate over the last few years.


President Museveni recently said UPDF are fighting terrorists in a foreign land to keep Ugandans safe, citing the terrorist bombings masterminded by the Somali group in Kampala in 2010.


Oguttu told Parliament today that, “our soldiers have been in Somalia for many years now and we commend the work they have done on behalf of our country and thank them for enduring the sacrifices their service requires of them. However, we do not think they should still be that country because by now they should have trained more than enough Somali soldiers to protect their own country.”


He added: “If Somalis do not want to fight for themselves, then it does not make sense for our soldiers to stay for so long whereby they eventually may be regarded as a sort of occupation army.”


UPDF provides security at key state installations including Mogadishu International Airport, Parliament, Presidential palace, Bank of Somalia and the sea port.


Combat units continue to engage Al Shabaab terrorists while other sections of the UPDF are training the Somali army.


Oguttu also hinted on the trial of officers over alleged criminal offences committed in Somalia.


“What capacity is there to properly investigate activities so far away in order to avoid miscarriage of justice? Secondly is there any specific law that allows alleged criminal offences committed in Somalia to be tried in Uganda?” wondered Oguttu.


The former leader of the UPDF contingent in Somalia, Brig Michael Ondoga and others were recently charged with offences related to command and operational failures against the al-Shabaab and theft of army supplies.


Withdrawal


Oguttu said Uganda wants to know the time table for bringing back home the troops from Somalia.


“They cannot be a permanent substitute for a Somali national army. It is not a desirable development as it may prove detrimental to the security of the country and the people of Uganda and the region.”


South Sudan


Oguttu also spoke passionately about the UPDF deployment in South Sudan.


“Similarly our troops continue to die in South Sudan in a senseless war long after fulfilling the initial mission for provision of a safe passage for our nationals who were trapped in South Sudan when the war began.

What is the current mission of our troops in South Sudan? Who is footing the bills of that mission? Why should Uganda take sides with one protagonist in what is essentially an intra SPLM struggle, an intervention that is proving to be a stumbling block in the peace negotiations between the belligerent sides”


South Sudan officials said Uganda is footing its bills but that the Juba government provides fuel and petroleum products to service their logistics.


Oguttu said Ugandans and the world at large need to know the time table of the withdrawal of troops from South Sudan.


“We want to know whether President Yoweri Museveni would welcome a similar open intervention by another country giving material support to the side against him in the ongoing internal NRM power struggle. This is exactly what his current belligerent intervention in South Sudan amounts to.”


Army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda was not readily available for comment.


He, however, told Chimpreports recently that Uganda would withdraw troops from South Sudan after the deployment of a joint IGAD force to maintain stability in the war-torn country.

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