By Adia Jildo
South Sudan’s transitional unity government has so far not distanced itself from alleged reports of Ugandan soldiers (UPDF) being put on standby following tensions in Juba between the President and his First Vice President.
Michael Makuei Lueth, the minister of information when asked by journalists recently to comment on the matter reported in the Ugandan media “Nile Post”, said he was not in position to comment.
“That’s what they are saying not us. We are not ready to respond to whatever statement they made in their country,” Makuei told journalists after the weekly cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday.
“We are not ready to respond to a statement made by the President of a state in his country,” he added.
On 7th March, the Nile Post reported that Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had put the Uganda People’s Defense Forces on standby in the event of another round of conflict breaking out in it’s northern neighbor South Sudan.
This came in the aftermath of President Salva Kiir sacking Angelina Teny, the minister of defense and veterans affairs, who is also the wife of Riek Machar the leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in opposition (SPLM-IO).
In another decree issued on March 3rd, Kiir also sacked his interior minister Mahmoud Solomon Agok and also swapped control of the two ministries.
The SPLM-IO protested the changes, arguing that President Kiir violated the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.
The two leaders met recently to iron out their differences over the ministerial changes but failed to reach consensus.
UPDF intervened in 2013 following outbreak of conflict in South Sudan where it propped up Kiir against the SPLM/A-IO rebels led by Riek Machar.