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UPDF WITHDRAWAL FROM SOUTH SUDAN OCT 12TH 2015

PRESS STATEMENT

You will recall that on the 15th of December 2013, a conflict broke out in South Sudan and the ensuing violence claimed thousands of lives in several parts of the country.
As a result of the deteriorating security situation, a request was made by H.E Salva Kiir, the President of the Republic of South Sudan to H.E Yoweri Museveni for Uganda to deploy UPDF soldiers in order to save lives.
On the 24th of December 2013, the President of the Republic of Uganda stated that the reasons Uganda was deploying in South Sudan was to maintain regional security, protect the thriving trade between Uganda and South Sudan, rescue trapped Ugandans in the conflict zone and maintain constitutionalism as proscribed by the African Union.
The deployment of UPDF soldiers helped to stop what was likely to be the worst genocide in the region. Although thousands had already been massacred in the town of Bor, the UPDF intervention and the subsequent capture of Bor town halted the massacres that had been going on.
Secondly, timely deployment enabled the evacuation of thousands of Ugandans and other foreigners who were trapped in the conflict. Most of these Ugandans had been doing business in South Sudan. South Sudan being Uganda’s largest export market and trading partner, UPDF intervention was a strategic move that helped to maintain thriving trade relations. Particularly, the security of Juba-Nimule road, which has been maintained throughout the conflict, was an important factor for trade relations to continue.
Furthermore, the UPDF secured Juba airport and other strategic installations and guaranteed safety of entry and exit for foreigners and nationals alike. This also ensured that South Sudan remained linked to the region and the wider international community.
To that end, UPDF has been a key peace factor in the South Sudan conflict. Indeed, the Addis Ababa peace agreement of 17 August 2015 would never have been possible had the violence continued.
Importantly, under the IGAD Mediated Agreement of 17th August 2015 in Addis Ababa, Uganda is one of the guarantors of the peace process in South Sudan. Subsequently, Lt Gen Ivan Koreta has been appointed to the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) while Brig Joram Mugume, Col Kagoro Asingura and Maj Fred Byegarazo Asaba will be part of the Field Monitoring Team.
Uganda welcomes the adoption, under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, Security Council Resolution 2241 of 2015 on the 9th of October 2015. This resolution amongst others:
•    Endorses the Agreement signed by the Government of South Sudan and SPLM/SPLA-IO
•    Extends the mandate of UNMISS until December 15th 2015
•    Urges all parties to engage in an open and fully inclusive national dialogue that seeks to implement lasting peace, reconciliation and good governance
•    Authorizes UNMISS to use all necessary means to perform that tasks of protecting civilians, deter violence against civilians, maintain public safety and security, monitor and investigate human rights violations and create conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and support the implementation of the Agreement
•    Under the United Nations Security Council expanded mandate, UNMISS has been given a robust mandate under Chapter VII of deploying 12,600 troops and 1,300 police personnel to monitor and enforce the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
Accordingly, in compliance, Uganda today announces the beginning of the withdrawal of UPDF from South Sudan. As one of the guarantors to the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement, and following the requirement of Chapter II, Article 1.5, of 17TH August 2015 Addis Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan that requires security actors allied to either party in the conflict in South Sudan to withdraw from the country within forty five days, UPDF has with immediate effect from today started to pull out of South Sudan.
As UPDF withdraws from South Sudan, Uganda has achieved several objectives including:
•    Protection of vital and strategic installations like airports and the capital, Juba
•    Providing security of persons and property
•    Successfully evacuated Ugandans and other foreign nationals whose lives were at risk
•    Created conditions necessary for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians
•    Managed to stop genocide
•    Maintained regional security and protected the thriving trade with South Sudan
•    Created the conditions and facilitated the peace process under the IGAD arrangement.
The government and the people of Uganda remain committed to ensuring a peaceful resolution to the conflict in South Sudan. Towards that end, Uganda calls on all the South Sudanese parties to abide scrupulously by the terms of the Agreement and implement faithfully its provisions, and to seize this unique opportunity to open a new chapter in the history of their young nation and live up to the expectations of their long suffering people.
The Government of the Republic of Uganda wishes to express appreciation to the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, SPLM/SPLA-IO, other Sudanese parties, Civil Society, IGAD, the countries of the region, the UN and other international stakeholders especially the troika comprising of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Norway for making this process possible.
 
HON HENRY OKELLO ORYEM
MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
12th OCTOBER 2015