A group of Ugandan lawmakers are demanding answers from President Yoweri Museveni after deploying troops from the national army to South Sudan without seeking parliamentary authorization as enshrined in the constitution.
On his recent visit to South Sudan as part of an effort to help resolve the security crisis there, Museveni said East African nations have warned South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar to comply with a cease-fire or face action by regional nations.
But lawmaker Medard Sseggona says it was inappropriate for Museveni to interfere in South Sudan’s internal affairs, which he says could create tension and worsen the security situation there due to that country’s ethnic complexities.
“The president threatened Riek Machar with pulling him out of the bush, which is not our political, economic or social interest to interfere with the internal affairs of the government of South Sudan,” said Sseggona.
He says Museveni contravened the constitution by deploying troops from the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) to South Sudan without parliamentary approval.
“We are asking for an explanation as to how the government deployed our forces in South Sudan without consulting and obtaining a parliamentary resolution as required by article 210 of our constitution,” said Sseggona. “We demand to know how many of our children have died in South Sudan [and] two how many of our soldiers have been deployed in South Sudan and for how long? Because it would appear we might be there forever.”
However, some MPs rejected the Ssegona’s demands as a publicity stunt. They contend that President Museveni has the constitutional mandate to protect citizens irrespective of where they are, and has deployed the troops to evacuate Ugandans trapped in South Sudan due to the conflict there.