President Yoweri Museveni has confirmed that UPDF fought alongside the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-SPLA in South Sudan to regain control of Jemeza on Monday this week.
This is contained in his speech to the 5th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Great Lakes Region on Peace and Security, which is ongoing in Luanda, Angola. According to the statement, Museveni reveals that SPLA and UPDF troops had a big battle with the rebel forces on January 13th, about 90Kms from Juba, where they inflicted huge defeat on them.
He says unfortunately many lives were lost on the side of the rebels adding that, UPDF also suffered causalities and lost some troops. He wonders why if Riek Machar, the former South Sudan Vice president had not planned a coup, why his supporters went ahead to capture Malakal, Bor and Abor.
He argues that if Machar had not planned a coup and it was a mistake on the government side, he should have withdrawn to a remote area to avoid attack and start talks unconditionally so as to resolve the problem quickly instead of protracting it. Museveni advises SPLM to resolve disagreements within the party structures adding that, if some people are dissatisfied with the party they should go out and form another Party.
He advises the South Sudan Government neither to stop them nor impede them. Museveni says to turn a political problem into a military one; having mismanaged the political problem in the first place is not acceptable. The revelations by Museveni come a day after parliament endorsed the deployment of UPDF in South Sudan, amidst protests from opposition legislators.
On Tuesday, Crispus Kiyonga, the Defense Minister moved a motion in parliament seeking approval for the deployment of UPDF in South Sudan. In his motion, Kiyonga disclosed that Salva Kiir, the President of South Sudan requested President Yoweri Museveni on 16th December 2013 to assist in stabilizing the situation cognizant of the fact that the coup de tats are condemned under article 4(b) of the African Union charter to, which Uganda and South Sudan subscribe.
Kiyonga added that with a likelihood of genocide and the over throw of a democratic elected government, the commander in chief took a decision to deploy the UPDF troops guided by section 30 of the UPDF Act.
Despite the fact that Kiyonga, got overwhelming support from the majority MPs from the ruling National Resistance Movement, opposition legislators criticized government for interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
Hassan Kaps Fungaroo, the shadow defense minister said there is need to look at the future of South Sudan, which should be based on the government of national unity.
He opposed the deployment of UPDF in South Sudan saying it will not solve the political problems in the country.