UPDF Accused of Attacks in South Sudan, Ordered Out

2288 Views Juba, South Sudan
Riek Machar, the South Sudan vice-president, has accused the UPDF of masterminding the recent attacks on the SPLA in southern Sudan. He further ordered the Ugandan troops who have been hunting the LRA rebels to leave the country with immediate effect. Early this month, unknown gunmen, attacked an SPLA detachment in Nabanga in Western Equatoria State, killing 23 people, including 14 SPLA officers and a local chief. The attackers reportedly headed towards the Ugandan border after the incident. In another incident, suspected LRA rebels attacked the South Sudan town of Nimule in Eastern Equatoria State bordering with northern Uganda, killing innocent people and looting properties. The LRA were blamed for the attacks. But the LRA commanders denied the blame and instead pointed an accusing finger at the UPDF. Riek Machar, the mediator of the stalled Juba peace talks, told parliament in Juba yesterday, that an investigative committee instituted recently, has found out that the UPDF was behind the attacks, contrary to earlier reports that implicated the LRA rebels. Documents presented before the south Sudanese legislative assembly show that the ceasefire monitoring team attached to the Ugandan peace talks investigated an alleged LRA attack close to the Sudanese-Ugandan border in which a 31-year-old man was abducted. The team reported that about 30 gunmen raided a homestead at Nyongwa village on June 19, looted food and household goods and abducted Jino Moga Mandara. Machar told the south Sudanese lawmakers that his decision to expel the UPDF was intended to avoid past mistakes. He noted that Ugandan soldiers abducted and killed a South Sudanese man during anti-LRA operations this month. Machar has sent a letter to the chief Ugandan negotiator, who is also Internal Affairs Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, expressing concern about the responsibility of the Ugandan army, being responsible for the attacks. But Major Paddy Ankunda, the Defence and Army spokesman, says his office has not yet received the alleged report implicating the UPDF. He however maintains that the LRA and not the UPDF were behind the recent attacks. He says UPDF did not go to South Sudan to kill people but to secure a peaceful neighborhood.


Tagged with: updf lra