UPDF enters South Sudan
The troops shortly before setting off from Gulu. Photo by Julius Ocungi
ADVERTISEMENTBy Julius Ocungi
Troops of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces have started their journey to the troubled South Sudan to evacuate Ugandans who are trapped in the country following clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his vice, Dr Riek Machar.
The troops set off on Thursday to Africa’s youngest nation, to rescue civilians who are trapped in a conflict that has so far claimed more than 300 lives.
This comes days after President Yoweri Museveni ordered the evacuation of all Ugandans trapped in the country on Friday last week.
Army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said the soldiers are not in South Sudan to support any warring side but to rescue Ugandans some of whom have been attacked in ambushes staged by militias especially on the Juba- Nimule road.
Last week, the Ugandan army refuted claims that they would deploy in South Sudan to contain the clashes.
This is not the first time UPDF is deploying its forces in South Sudan.
In December 2013, President Museveni sent UPDF soldiers to South Sudan to contain clashes between President Kiir and Dr Machar’s troops.
The fight erupted when President Kiir sacked Dr Machar as his vice.