National
Ugandans in South Sudan: We want to vote from here
Publish Date: Apr 07, 2014
Ugandans in South Sudan:  We want to vote from here
The Mayor of Bor in Jongeli State South Sudan Nhial Majak Nhial talks to Uganda Peoiples Defence Force Spokesman Paddy Ankunda, during a visit to Bor on April.6, 2014. PHOTO/Kennedy Oryema
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Steven Candia
With the return of peace in most parts of South Sudan and elections back at home drawing closer, Ugandan traders there have asked the government of Uganda to consider setting up polling centres there to cater for the huge Ugandan community.

The move, if granted, they said, will allow them exercise their constitutional right to vote given that most of them may not be able to travel back home to cast their votes in 2016 on account of their occupation.

The appeal was made on Saturday by the Chairman of the Ugandan community Konyokonyo market Hassan Iddi Mutebi during a meeting with the UPDF and army spokesperson Col. Paddy Ankunda at the Owino II Market, now renamed Famms Commercial Market in Juba. The modern market nearing completion built by Uganda traders there has cost so far over sh3b.

“Now that elections are near ask the government to consider opening polling stations here so that some of us can participate from here instead of having to travel back home. There is a big number of Ugandans in here,” Mutebi said. He hailed the government Uganda for sending and maintaining UPDF in South Sudan, a move which he said has revived and enabled business to flourish.

There are conflicting reports of the number of Ugandans in South Sudan. Prior to the conflict there was speculation that there could be up to 1.5m Ugandans there, though in an earlier meeting on Saturday, the Ugandan ambassador to South Sudan Maj. Gen Robert Rusoke put the figure at a paltry 50,000.

In the courtesy visit Rusoke said Uganda’s intervention by sending its troops to South Sudan had been misunderstood internationally. He however noted that relative peace had returned to most parts of the country.

“Ours was strategic humanitarian intervention but unfortunately that has been misunderstood,” Rusoke said, a view which Ankunda said needs to be understood. Uganda sent troops to South Sudan days after clashes erupted in South Sudan on December 15, last year pitting the former vice president Dr. Riek Machar against the President Salva Kiir, degenerating into a civil war and the international community calling for Uganda to pull out.

 “The situation is largely fair on the surface but there are under currents that need to be properly handled,” Rusoke said as Ankunda said the  UPDF will pull out its forces in a phased manner “once an intervention force under the Inter- Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is in place.”

 The Saturday meeting at the market was attended by among others Juma Nasser, a director; Hakim Mpalanyi, the Secretary General, Salima Mauwa, treasurer and Ketende Willy, the General Secretary Uganda Bus Drivers Association.

At the meeting in which the traders voiced their concerns, Ankunda assured them that the UPDF will desert the traders.

“The UPDF will not leave you here. We will stand by you,” Ankunda said and greed to channel their grievance to higher relevant offices in Kampala.

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
14 killed in DR Congo machete attack
THE incursion by the Ugandan rebel group ADF took place overnight in the town of Kampi ya Chui....
Businessman sues UNRA over Entebbe Expressway
A businessman has dragged UNRA to court seeking sh5b in damages for loss of business and the inconvenience over the construction of the Entebbe Expressway....
US Commander of Africa Forces visits
President Yoweri Museveni has said that the main challenge in Somalia today was clan-related issues. The President made the remarks at State House Entebbe in a meeting with the United States of America Commander of Africa Forces, General David Rodriguez....
Museveni hails Uganda-North Korea ties
President Yoweri Museveni describes the North Koreans as friends who have helped Uganda for a long time on visit of one of its leaders....
Slain Unilever boss mourned
Speaker after speaker described Makanga as a smart, classy, humble, respectful, joyful, hardworking man at his funeral in Kampala....
Muntu warns Mafabi, Nabila over media exchanges
ACCORDING to John Kikonyogo, the party spokesperson, Muntu said discussing the issues in the media was affecting the image of the party...
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter