An African Union ministerial team is converging in Addis Ababa Ethiopia ahead of their scheduled visit to Juba in South Sudan to mediate the ongoing conflict. Fred Opolot, the Foreign Affairs spokesperson and Okello Oryem, the Foreign Affairs state minister are part of the team.
Currently, only Kenya and Ethiopia have been confirmed as among the countries sending leaders to Juba to see an end to the crisis that has left over 400 people dead. This morning, government confirmed that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon asked President Yoweri Museveni to mediate talks to bring an end to the weeklong clashes in Juba.
According to Opolot, shortly speaking to Ban Ki Moon, Museveni called up Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe who is expected to lead the African Union team to Juba.
The situation in South Sudan remains tense even though the airport, main highways and the official border points with Uganda have opened for normal business. Opolot says that whereas the security situation has improved, the ministry has asked all Ugandans to take caution and abide by the established security measures as they go by their business.
Buses that had been stopped from leaving Juba have been allowed to move. At least 14 buses from Juba arrived in Uganda with 1689 passengers. Government is still calling on the public to notify the Ugandan embassy about any Ugandan casualties in the fighting.
Opolot also adds that there are only 8000 officially registered Ugandans in South Sudan despite the fact that there are more than 20,000 Ugandans.