Ugandan President Proposes Regional Troops For Riek Machar’s Bodyguards
July 16, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Upon his return from Kigali, Rwanda, where he attended the 27th African Union Heads of States Summit, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, narrates his new proposals to end the conflict in South Sudan.
“I arrived safely in Kigali, Rwanda for the 27th African Union Heads of State Summit. Upon arrival, I met the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, with whom we discussed the current situation in South Sudan.” President Museveni said.
“I am of the view that the following three issues be addressed for peace to return to South Sudan.” he continued.
Among his proposals, Museveni suggests that foreign troops should be constituted to form the presidential guards unit for the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the commander in chief of SPLA in Opposition.
“First, a regional force should be assembled to protect Vice President Riek Machar who does not trust the SPLA forces under President Salva Kiir.” President Museveni said.
“Secondly, there must be a cessation of hostilities in Juba. No new fighting should occur.” Museveni continued.
The Ugandan president, who strongly believes in African-Democracy, told the summit that as long as peace is sustained for the next two years, South Sudan’s leaders will work out their political interests through democracy.
“Third is the question of elections and democracy. Votes will force the factions into alliances. Democracy will force them to work together. Now, they know that they are not accountable to the people.” Museveni explains.
Reacting to Museveni’s proposals on social media, the supporters of SPLM/A in Opposition argue that Machar’s bodyguards cannot be composed of Ugandans and suggest that the foreign troops must be well trained to the standard and brevity of SPLA-IO forces.
On the other hand, supporters of President Salva Kiir fear that the foreign troops might be composed majorly of Ethiopian-Nuer and the perception of the two armies could remain the same.
Dr. Machar and many officials in his ranks have called for a foreign troops intervention within the last few days.
They proposed that the foreign troops would act as a buffer zone between the two forces and be managed by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan(UNMISS) under the same mandates as the UN Peacekeepers.
The embattled president, Mr. Salva Kiir and his chief of army, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, on the other hand reject foreign troops intervention and declare to fight any foreign intervention except Ugandans and Sudan’s rebels in the country.
Kiir and Museveni have relied on the Ugandan People Defense Forces(UPDF) for their protection and also to fight the war in South Sudan.
The Ugandan army has returned to war-torn South Sudan, heavily armed in number and weapons; however, it remains unclear if the UPDF will go to the frontline again like they did between 2013-2015.
It is clear that Museveni has been more involved in South Sudan’s politics since the death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior in his helicopter in 2005 but it is yet to be seen if these proposals are sustainable and could help in implementing South Sudan Peace Agreement.