Ugandan and South Sudanese governments have secretly been working on a plan to allow Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) to re-enter South Sudan and control specific locations in the war-torn country.
Quoting a senior South Sudan government official, local media in the war-torn country reported that both South Sudan and Uganda have initiated a plan designed to allow the latter to deploy its troops along major roads linking Kampala with Juba.
The official allegedly said that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir wants Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to deploy UPDF’s soldiers to some areas he deems a threat to his government.
“There is an active discussion between South Sudan and Uganda over the possibility of Uganda’s military re-intervention in our country. Kiir and Museveni started talking about bringing back UPDF to South Sudan last month [May],” the official reportedly said.
But contacted on phone earlier today, the UPDF Spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire denied any such plans, only saying: “We have not contemplated that.”
Meanwhile, the source was quoted as saying that Kiir and Museveni were infuriated when some leaders of the African Union, United Nations, and other countries publicly admitted that the August 2015 peace agreement is dead, adding, “Kiir and Taban believe the implementation of the peace agreement is going smoothly.”
“President Kiir is only implementing what he wants not the peace. The big problem here is that Taban Deng Gai who is now the First Vice President has no power to change anything Kiir wants and it is a big problem,” the source added. The official described the FVP Gai as ‘a man with no real power’.
South Sudan’s armed opposition, the SPLM/A-IO, has intensified its operation against government troops in and around Equatoria region, causing Uganda’s truck drivers to stop delivery of Ugandan goods to Juba.
Ugandan traders have recently called on Ugandan leader Museveni to order occupation of main roads linking South Sudan with Uganda, claiming Kampala has rights to protect its business interests in the war-wracked young nation.
Uganda is South Sudan’s biggest trading partner.
Previously, the UPDF has deployed in South Sudan following clashes that erupted there in December 2013, when President Kiir fell out with his then Vice President Riek Machar, resulting in the bloodbath which prompted the Ugandan army to intervene.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that President Yoweri Museveni is the only leader in the region, who is reportedly in favour of South Sudan holding ‘free and fair’ general elections.