About 47 US troops have been deployed to South Sudan to protect American citizens and the embassy in Juba, President Barack Obama has told the country’s Congress.
According to media reports in America, another over 130 US forces are in Uganda — waiting to be sent to South Sudan following the recent fighting that has left over 300 people dead and thousands displaced.
“It is not possible to know at this time the precise scope or the duration of the deployments of US Armed Forces necessary to support the security of US citizens and property in South Sudan,” Obama said.
Chris Brown, the spokesperson of the US Embassy in Kampala, confirmed that US troops had moved from Djibouti to Uganda to monitor the situation in South Sudan.
On the sidelines of the AU summit, President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday held talks with Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, about the South Sudan conflict.
According to a State House statement, the President proposed three issues if the South Sudan conflict is to end — a regional force to protect Machar during the transition period, prevention of fresh fighting in Juba and taking the path of democracy.
“Deal with them carefully and work towards peace and elections. Votes will force them into alliances. Democracy will force them to work together. Now they know they are not accountable to the people,” he said.
Museveni disagreed with the UN proposal to impose an arms embargo.
“I don’t agree with the proposal of an arms embargo. What is happening in South Sudan is sectarian politics where one partisan community is fighting the other. When you impose an embargo on South Sudan you destroy the local force on which you need to build a strong integrated army,” he said, calling for integration of all forces in South Sudan into one chain of command.
Museveni was responding to Ba Ki-Moon’s proposals to the UN Security Council for an arms embargo, sanctions on those responsible for violence and fortification of the UN mission in South Sudan.
State House said that Ban Ki-moon said the violation of the ceasefire by Kiir and Machar makes the UN position very difficult and asked Museveni as the guarantor of the peace process alongside the AU and IGAD to send out a clear unified message to South Sudan.