Uganda’s army, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) will stay in the South Sudan as long as the security situation there compromises Uganda’s own, Gen. Katumba Wamala the Commander Defence Forces has said.
However, the CDF reaffirms that their disengagement will depend on how soon the Protection and Deterrent Force (PDF) that comprises of IGAD member countries would deploy with effect from April 15 (next Tuesday).
Katumba describes UPDF presence in South Sudan as necessary for stability in both countries. He defines the current force deployment as preventive action to save the lives of the vulnerable people.
He says the UPDF responded quickly to prevent a chaotic situation from spiralling into genocide. He says Uganda intervened to prevent a repeat of what happened in Rwanda in 1994 when a civil war turned into a genocide.
Katumba says the second issue that prompted UPDF to move to South Sudan was to safeguard vital government installations that would enable government survive. He says the UPDF did not want to leave a power vacuum in the country.
Katumba insists that the UPDF lost nine soldiers and a total of 15 who were injured in a single battle but they have since recovered.
On renegade General David Sejusa, Katumba says Sejusa took a personal decision that has no reflection on the UPDF. He says the UPDF remains united behind their commander-in-chief President Yoweri Museveni. He says no soldier has followed General Sejusa.
Katumba says any indiscipline in the army can be adequately handled by the military court.