Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


South Sudan rebels accept presence of Ugandan troops

22 August 2014, 11:40

Kampala - South Sudan rebels have agreed to let Uganda maintain its forces on South Sudanese soil until a regional body deploys a peace keeping force, a spokesman for the Ugandan government told Reuters on Friday.

The new stance by the rebels, which is a 180-degree turn from their earlier position of demanding withdrawal of the troops from South Sudan, could open a way to mend ties between the insurgents and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

At least 10,000 people have been killed since fierce fighting erupted in December, pitting President Salva Kiir's government forces against supporters of Riek Machar, his former deputy and longtime rival.

Since the conflict in Africa's youngest nation erupted in mid December, the Ugandan leader has stood by the South Sudanese government, angering the rebels.

Peace initiatives by the regional group of nations, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), have so far failed to end the conflict, fought along ethnic lines between Kiir's Dinka community and Machar's Nuer people.

Ofwono Opondo, the Ugandan government spokesman, said a rebel delegation in Uganda met a government team led by Salim Saleh, brother of President Museveni, who acts as his senior advisor on defence and security.

"We explained to them why we deployed in their country and they agreed that we can stay there until IGAD deploys," Opondo said. "They also agreed that a military option can not bring lasting peace in South Sudan."

Opondo said Ugandan officials explained to the visiting rebels that Uganda had not deployed its troops to take sides in the conflict, but rather it went "in to stop a genocide".

The rebels said they were encouraged by their meeting and that they recognised Uganda's influence on the South Sudanese leadership and its potential to help find a settlement.

"We believe it can play a positive role in influencing the GoRSS (Government of the Republic of South Sudan) to commit to the ongoing peace process," the statement said.

Analysts say Uganda is reluctant to pull out its troops, a move it fears could trigger a collapse of the Kiir-led government, creating a full-blown war across a nation that has emerged as one of its key export markets.

Regional countries and some western powers have voiced concern in the past that Uganda's deployment was complicating efforts by IGAD to resolve the conflict.

On May 9, Machar and Kiir signed a ceasefire and agreed to form an interim government by Aug. 10, but they missed that deadline as peace talks in Addis Ababa stalled.

Last week, the United Nations Security Council warned it could impose sanctions on the warring sides, due to repeated violations of the ceasefire, amid growing fears of a man-made famine in the country.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...