Oct 21, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- Thousands of Ugandan People Defense Force (UPDF), contracted by Salva Kiir government in 2013 to fight a civil war in defense of the regime, have began a procedural withdrawal from Bor town, the capital of Jonglei state.
According to South Sudan’s government spokesman, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Deputy Peace negotiator, Hon. Micheal Makuei Lueth, the first contigent of UPDF began leaving Bor town yesterday, Tuesday, October 20th, 2015.
Reports from the ground indicate that the Ugandan troops will finish withdrawing from Jonglei state by Friday, a report that sends fear and mixed reactions among the local population.
For the last two weeks, government officials including South Sudan’s military spokesman, Philip Aguer and Micheal Makuei Lueth demanded that the Ugandan army should not leave the country.
According to deputy Chief of Staff and SPLA Commander for Jonglei state, General Malual Ayom, there shouldn’t be any panic in the state.
“There shouldn’t be any panic to the population of Jonglei state, the SPLA is there to protect people of Bor. They should continue with their normal activities,” assured Ayom.
Gen. Ayom, whose some of his comrades were slain by a troop of white army before the UPDF came to rescue, has recruited and trained thousands of troops over the past two years. His colleagues in Juba, however, want the UPDF to stay until further notice.
Col. Philip Aguer argues that the UPDF should only leave the war-torn nation after the SPLM/SPLA-IO signed the security arrangement which they refused to sign in September.
On the other hand, the Ugandan troops who took responsibility of major towns in the conflict, have call it enough.
Boasting that the Ugandans have saved Kiir’s government, defended towns and installations or prevented a “genocide”, the Ugandans sees no appreciation from Salva Kiir’s government for their services.
According to one of the Ugandan soldiers, who spoke in the town of Bor, Salva Kiir government should have paid the troops some allowances as a “thank-you” in kind for the job well-done; appreciate them for protecting his government and openly allow them to leave the country.
The long-awaited withdrawals came 10 days after the expiry of IGAD dateline as a result of combined efforts from the region, SPLM/SPLA [IO] and the international community who demanded that all the foreign troops must leave the country to allow peace in the world’s youngest nation.
Despite their withdrawal from Bor, UPDF will be re-assembled in Juba before finally exiting the country at the end of the month or later.
As part of elevating peace agreement in South Sudan, Ugandan government is urged to support peace initiatives even if it would mean isolating or sanctioning the warring parties or individuals who impede the agreement.
After signing of the Compromise Peace Agreement, Ugandan President and Sudan’s president Omar el Bashir held a closed-doors meeting with SPLM/SPLA[IO] chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, in Khartoum.
In Khartoum meeting, Yoweri Museveni for the first time pledged his commitment to withdraw his troops and support peace in South Sudan.
At the onset of the conflict, Mr. Museveni dispatched his troops to South Sudan with hopes to capture Mr. Machar in just four days; however, the “battle-hardened” UPDF, withdrawn mostly from Somalia, met a tougher challenge from the least equipped and organized force of White Army, fighting alongside defected SPLA forces.
Reports from Kampala indicate that the news of UPDF withdrawal is celebrated by many Ugandan families who have not heard from their sons and daughters in South Sudan for nearly two years.