Over 750 Ugandans that had been trapped in one of South Sudan states are being returned home following an evacuation exercise by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forcesâ€”UPDF. Fred Opolot, the Uganda Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson says 13 buses each carrying 60 people arrived safely in South Sudan capital Juba on Sunday and would be heading home escorted by the UPDF.
Fred Opolot, the Uganda Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson says 13 buses each carrying 60 people arrived safely in South Sudan capital Juba on Sunday and would be heading home escorted by the UPDF.
The evacuated persons have been camping at United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Bor since war broke out in South Sudan mid this month.
It had been feared that up to two thousand Ugandans were trapped in the war but Opolot says Uganda and South Sudan were yet to determine the exact number.
//Cue In “It is very difficult……
Cue Out… their community leaders.”//
At least 1500 Ugandans that have been living in different parts of South Sudan would have officially returned home once the 750 that have just been evacuated from Bor arrive safely at home. Over 750 others had returned home through Entebbe Airport between December 23 and 26th.
Meanwhile Opolot reveals that another two hundred Ugandans have been airlifted from rebel-stronghold in Bentui into Sudan by United Nations Stabilization Force in Abyei (UNISFA) with permission of President Omar al-Bashir’s government. The Khartoum government has according to Opolot allowed the UPDF to airlift the 200 from Heglig in the Sudan back to Uganda.
In a related development, Opolot denies claims by former South Sudan vice president, Dr Riek Machar that the UPDF is fighting alongside Salva Kiir government forces.
Peter Adwok Nyaba, a former South Sudan education Minister who is now a rebel sympathizer, was quoted by the Sudan Tribune claiming that over 3,000 UPDF troops and some war planes are now involved in the country’s conflict.
Samuel Luate Lominsuk, South Sudanese Ambassador to Uganda told journalists in Kampala on Monday that the UPDF was only involved in evacuation of Ugandan citizens. He says the UPDF has not been given any deadline on when it should conclude the evacuation exercise so as to exit the South Sudan territory.
//Cue In “ The UPDF presence….
Cue Out ….you go back.”//
Some Members of Parliament have questioned the UPDF presence in South Sudan saying Parliament has not approved the deployments as required by the constitution.
The conflict in South Sudan is pitting troops loyal to President Kiir against those supporting Dr Machar, who was Kiir’s vice president until July this year when the two fell out.