By Steven Candia
The Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) Gen. Katumba Wamala has warned that the cease fire agreement in South Sudan will continue to be violated by the parties to the conflict for as long as an intervention has not been put in place.
Addressing the press on Tuesday, Katumba observed the need for the much anticipated intervention force to be put in place by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) if the ceasefire is to hold.
“I think without the intervention force in place, there is a high possibility of the ceasefire being violated by the parties and having those flare ups like what we are seeing in some parts of South Sudan,” Katumba said.
“There is need for the intervention force to be in place and that is when the parties will respect the cease fire,” he said while fielding questions on the situation in South Sudan in light of the cease fire agreement and reports of continued skirmishes.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President turned foe Riek Machar last month signed a peace deal which called for an immediate truce and the formation of a transitional government ahead of the drafting of a new constitution and new elections.
Uganda deployed troops in South Sudan moments after clashes erupted in South Sudan mid-December last year and has raged on for close to six months now.
Speaking on wide ranging of issues related to the UPDF’s involvement in the region, Katumba dismissed fears that the UPDF was involved in clashes in the recent spate of flare ups.
“Our boys are nowhere any near where the fighting is going on. They are so far away and in no harm way,” he said adding that the UPDF which is in South Sudan on the invitation of the government of South Sudan will gladly pull out once the intervention force is in place.
“The north most position our soldiers are in is in Bor and they are there to protect the civilians and to provide security for Juba,” he said adding that the UPDF is in South Sudan to provide an enabling environment for dialogue.
“We believe that the solution to the South Sudan conflict is on the table and not militarily,” he added.
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