The US government has called for the withdrawal of foreign forces that have interfered in the internal conflict between rival factions in South Sudan and urged to desist from violating the recently signed cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa.
In a strongly worded press release issued by State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, on Friday, the US government also warned of “any regionalization of the conflict” that may result from such foreign interference.
“We urge the redeployment or phased withdrawal of foreign forces invited by either side, and warn of the serious consequences which could result from any regionalization of this conflict,” Psaki said.
She also called for an inclusive reconciliation process in the IGAD-sponsored political dialogue in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The American call for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops comes as Juba and Kampala are finalising a military cooperation agreement between the countries. Uganda says the participation of its troops helped to maintain South Sudan’s stability.
Igad countries also showed frustration saying the Ugandan involvement in the conflict weakens their efforts to end the Conflict. But Juba responded by saying it has the right to demand such support.
The rebel SPLM-In-Opposition warned in a statement issued in Addis Ababa on 8 February that the non withdrawal of Ugandan troops would eventually lead to the failure of the upcoming round of talks scheduled for 10 February.
Further, Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak in a message extended to Sudan Tribune welcomed the statement coming out from the US government, saying “this was another urgent reminder to put pressure on president Salva Kiir to withdraw such foreign forces from South Sudan and honour the ceasefire agreement”.
Psaki welcomed the arrival in Juba of the first component of the monitoring team, and “strongly “urge the government of South Sudan to facilitate (the team’s) important work”, which will provide both sides with a mechanism to report any breaches of the agreement.”
The spokesperson further said “deeply concerned by reports of violations” by both sides of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa on January 23.
Adapted From The Sudan Tribune