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South Sudan faction up in arms as UPDF amasses troops at border

SPLA(iO) soldiers a few miles off the Uganda – South Sudan border of Nimule (FILE PHOTO)

NIMULE – The leadership of South Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) has expressed concern over UPDF’s heavy deployment on Uganda-South Sudan borders.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA-IO Deputy Military spokesperson, said the UPDF deployment may be intended to support the SPLA government headed by Mr Salva Kiir, which he attacked recently attacked their base at the border.

“This attack came a few days when UPDF have been heavily deployed around Yei River State, particularly along the border areas with Bamure in Moyo and Oraba in Koboko districts of Uganda respectively,” he said.

Col Lam claimed the South Sudan government forces in more than four armoured vehicles came from the direction of Yei Town and Pakula barracks and attacked the SPLA-IO positions in Jamara, Lainya County.

“The SPLA-IO considers any deployments of foreign troops in South Sudan without any UN or other legitimate mandates as the obstruction to the ongoing peace process as well as a direct aggression against the people of South Sudan,” he said.

UPDF soldiers aboard a Police truck headed for the Uganda – South Sudan border (FILE PHOTO)

However, Maj Teresphor Tuhame, the UPDF 4th Division spokesperson, said deployment of the Uganda army along the border is aimed at protecting the territorial integrity of the country.

“There is no need for alarm as far as deployment of our force is concerned. We are mandated to our border and that’s why we have deployed them”, Major Tuhame said.

He said the UPDF is protecting the people and their wealth along the border. “We are have faced insecurity from our brothers of South Sudan. They cross into Uganda through the porous border points and the presence of our Army will prevent such incidents from occurring,” he said.

From last week, there has been deployment of UPDF soldiers along the Uganda-South Sudan borders.

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