The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has described Uganda’s foreign policy as disastrous, offensive and aggressive against neighbouring countries.
Wafula Ogutu, the FDC party spokesperson, says the policy has cost the country dearly in terms of human resource, money and equipment. The FDC spokesperson says the war mongering policy of attacking neighbours has been premised on a wrong belief of getting rid of enemies but instead end up scaring citizens.
Wafula claims that President Yoweri Museveni has used this move to keep the UPDF busy but with a desire to get rid of unwanted elements in the army and get killed. He cites examples of war veterans; Amuka and Arrow Boys militias whose loyalty according to Wafula was being questioned due to their alleged relation with now exiled former Intelligence coordinator General David Sejusa.
Wafula cites the involvement of Uganda in the 1990 – 1994 Rwanda war, the 1997 overthrow of Mobutu Sseseko in the DRC and killing of his successor Laurent Kabila in January 2001. He says Somalia and now South Sudan are the latest examples of countries where Uganda has deployed.
He observes that President Museveni’s government has a tendency of denying the UPDF’s involvement in the conflicts but only for the President himself to turn around and confess after massive losses of human life and resources.
In a bid to seek support from Parliament, Government explained that the main reasons as to why they were involved in the South Sudan conflict was to protect its interests, constitutionalism, evacuation of Ugandans and trade.
FDC wonders why countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt that have larger trade benefits in South Sudan are not involved in combat. Wafula thus demands that the crisis in South Sudan be resolved through talks and for the UPDF to withdraw.
There was hope over the weekend in Addis Ababa Ethiopia that the two warring parties President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar would put pen to the peace deal.
However, the question of when the UPDF would withdraw is reported to be a stumbling block and delaying the signing of the peace deal. Machal’s group is demanding that the UPDF pull out of South Sudan before a peace deal is signed.
Last week UPDF Spokesperson Lt Col. Paddy Ankunda dismissed this demand wondering how the UPDF is being asked to withdraw when they have just arrived. He was quick to add that Uganda is not short of conflicts due to the volatile region that surrounds it.