Uganda to pull troops from South Sudan

Ugandan troops were deployed in South Sudan in 2013

Ugandan troops were deployed in South Sudan in 2013

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has announced Ugandan troops deployed in South Sudan will start coming back home this week.

“Yes it’s true the boys are coming home…as I speak the Chief of Lands Forces is in South Sudan. UPDF has 45 days to implement withdraw but team of senior officers such as Lt.Gen. Ivan Koreta will do field monitoring,” the head of the Ugandan military General Katumba Wamala told the media Monday.

Ugandan troops have been in the newly independent nation since 2013 when conflict broke out following President Salva Kiir fell out with his former Vice President Riek Machar.

These leaders have since signed a peace deal to end the 20-month that has destabilized the country and displaced more than 2 million people.

According to the agreement that was finally reached in August, all foreign troops must leave South Sudan.

The permanent secretary in Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, James Mugume told journalists in Kampala, Monday that “UPDF intervention halted the massacre that was going on. The intervention also saved lives of Ugandans.”

Meanwhile, the international community and rebels in South Sudan have condemned the government’s recent proposal of creating 18 more states in addition to current 10, saying the move could jeopardize peace accord.

“We recognise that the people of South Sudan have long been interested in the issues of federalism and decentralisation. However, we strongly urge President Kiir to defer action on this fundamental matter until the Transitional Government of National Unity is formed and a national constitutional dialogue can take place,” troika partners, the US, UK, and Norway said in a statement last week.