Ugandan Troops to Withdraw From South Sudan
Ugandan troops who have been fighting against rebel forces in South Sudan will start to withdraw from the country next week.
The Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) has been fighting alongside the South Sudanese army (SPLA), against the opposition forces led by former vice president, Riek Machar. However, the SPLA has announced Ugandan troops will be fully withdrawn by October 10.
In accordance with the peace deal
The withdrawal of all foreign troops, regardless of which side they support, is a term of the recently agreed peace deal between President Kiir’s government and opposition forces.
So far the peace deal has failed to end the violence in South Sudan, but the government’s move to withdraw Ugandan troops is the first positive step towards ending the civil war.
“It has been agreed that up to the 10th of October the UPDF forces will be out of the country,” Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, Lieutenant General Malek Ruben, announced on Tuesday. “The timeline of their withdrawal is stated between the 27th [of September], up to 10th of October,” he said.
Let this be the ‘last war’
The government has asked lawmakers to back the peace deal and called on the nation to make this the ‘last war’. Current Vice President James Wani Igga has told lawmakers his government is committed to the peace deal and told anyone affected by the agreement to “stomach it.”
“We are committed to peace, and we are committed to implement this agreement,” he said. “If there is anybody affected by this agreement, please stomach it. There are good things in this agreement,” he told lawmakers.
In his address to the parliament, Igga appealed to lawmakers and all of South Sudan to play their part in making this the nation’s last war: “We are not blind, we are simply saying, ‘this and that is wrong,’ but it is not meant to stop the agreement from implementation. South Sudanese, let this be the last war.”