- Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces has said that they have no signal to withdraw from South Sudan even as the deadline for their pull out from the country looms.
- The hard stance comes after the South Sudan government last week issues a statement saying that the UPDF would withdraw from the country latest October 10.
- Uganda troops are to be replaced by the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF).
The deadline for Ugandan troops to leave South Sudan is less than two weeks away but Kampala is yet to give the order for its forces to start withdrawing as demanded by the peace agreement signed in August.
The agreement, which President Salva Kiir signed on August 26, gave all foreign armies and militia 45 days to withdraw.
UPDF spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said the troops will stay put because no order for withdrawal had been given from Kampala.
The army also expressed reservations that there is no standby troops to replace UPDF soldiers once they have vacated the battle field.
Uganda stated that the withdrawal of her troops would only be prompted by the deployment of either the IGAD forces or the East African Stand-by Force.
Riek Machar and other SPLM-IO officials have previously held reservations on the role of the UPDF in South Sudan and the impediment they caused to the success of the cease-fire and transitional government success.
On withdrawal, Uganda troops are to be replaced by the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF). EASF is a regional organization whose mandate is to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region. It is one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force (ASF) consisting of Military, Police and Civilian components.
Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces deployed between 2,500 and 3,000 troops in South Sudan following the outbreak of war mid December 2013, to fight alongside forces loyal to President Salvar Kiir.
Withdrawal of UPDF from South Sudan is mandatory for the success of the signed peace deal. Riek Machar and other SPLM-IO officials have previously held reservations on the role of the UPDF in South Sudan and the impediment they caused to the success of the cease-fire and transitional government success.