South Sudan reneges on pledge to pay Uganda war Reparations

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan

President Salva Kiir of South Sudan

Reports have emerged indicating that the South Sudan government failed to clear medical and fuel bills incurred by troops from neighboring Uganda contrary to an agreement that was signed between the two governments.

The Ugandan government sent soldiers to South Sudan for a peace-keeping mission following the outbreak of violence and war in November 2013 in the world’s newest country that was sparked off by the sacking of Vice President Dr Riek Machar by President Salvar Kiir.

The Ugandan Parliament has now approved the payment amounting to $US1m (about Shs 3.2b), part of a supplementary budget, contrary to the Agreement signed between the governments of South Sudan and Uganda.

The Chairperson of the Budget Committee of the Ugandan Parliament, Amos Lugoloobi , who presented the Committee Report, said that “whereas the government of South Sudan was liable, this money was not readily available from them to pay the medical bills and fuel for soldiers who were already deployed in the field.”

The Opposition Chief Whip, Cecilia Ogwal demanded that government of Uganda provides evidence that South Sudan did not pay its dues to the UPDF. She said that it was necessary for Parliament to establish whether the money qualified as classified expenditure, and if it was due to be paid to individual soldiers or the UPDF as an institution.

“I feel very emotional about Ugandan soldiers who were in South Sudan; we want evidence that South Sudan did not meet its obligation such that Parliament can help out,” Ogwal said.

Stephen Mukitale, another lawmaker recommended that South Sudan pays Uganda according to the Agreement considering that Uganda has been forced to pay Tanzania for its help in ousting Idi Amin in 1979.

The Ugandan Parliament approved the Budget Committee Report asking government to recover the money as a war debt from South Sudan government. The UPDF was withdrawn from South Sudan in October last year.