The Ugandan army UPDF and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) are out of the regional force that is going to be deployed in their fragile neighbor South Sudan.
The unexpected development was revealed by the Uganda’s Chief of Defense Forces, order http://ckls.org/wp-admin/includes/schema.php Gen. Katumba Wamala while interfacing the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Internal Affairs on Thursday afternoon.
Gen. Katumba without giving reasons told Members of Parliament that Uganda and Sudan have decided to “excuse” themselves from the urgent deployment that was called for by the IGAD Heads of Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last week.
The 27th African Union assembly in Kigali, Rwanda late last month resolved that Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya should contribute a regional force to South Sudan which slid back to internal violence in July.
The follow up IGAD summit that was attended by both Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Omar al-Bashir concurred with the AU resolution and the army chiefs of the 5 countries were also asked to immediately convene to discuss modalities of the deployment. ChimpReports now understands that it was during the meeting of the regional army that Uganda and Sudan decided to get out of the mission.
Kampala is said to be in support of the mainstream SPLA under President Salva Kiir while Khartoum is believed to be supporting the armed opposition under Dr. Riek Machar. ”
“The UPDF and SAF are not going to deploy in South Sudan. We had a meeting and decided among ourselves not to deploy but the rest of the countries can go ahead,” Gen. Katumba said.
It now means only Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda are going to send the troupes to the world’s youngest nation.
Katumba however added that both Uganda and Sudan are going to be readily available in case called upon and the regional force is free to use facilities like airports in the two countries.