MPs Approve Motion to Deploy Troops in South Sudan

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Members of Parliament on Tuesday passed a motion approving the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) deployment in South Sudan.

According to Article 210 of the Constitution, Parliament has the power to authorize the deployment of the UPDF outside the country.

As ministers struggled to justify why the government sent Ugandan troops to Juba with Parliament’s approval first, MPs insisted that the matter needed a wider consultation.

The motion in Parliament was moved by Hon. Crispus Kiyonga, Minister of Defence and seconded by Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, Hon.Okuonzi  and Hon. Tony Ayoo.

The Violence in South Sudan has been ongoing since December 15 when rebels led by their leader Riek Machar attempted a coup on Salva Kiir’s government.

Uganda has deployed troops to help in the evacuation of Ugandans and to ensure there is peace in the region. However, this has caused argument among Uganda leaders as to why the government would send troops there for our soldiers to be killed.

Speaking before the plenary session, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala strongly defended the government for sending troops to South Sudan.

He said the situation in South Sudan was not a small matter, “it had all the hallmarks of the genocide” and so there is no way they would have waited to deploy when situation was getting worse.

“Let’s value our people. Can you compare money spent to the lives of those that we have saved?” Gen. Katumba asked.

“We are in South Sudan because we want to create a conducive environment for the two warring groups to sit on the same table. We are not fighting and we are not mercenaries of government but we want to stop the killing of innocent people,” he added.

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson, Hon Wafula Oguttu said they support deployment, “as long as it is for evacuation of our citizens from South Sudan.”

He also said the matter needed a wider consultation emphasizing that they should learn to work together.

“The government is killing and the rebels are killing but for us to get involved we must get a clear mandate,” Wafula added.

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