JUBA – South Sudan’s government has expressed a strong disapproval of the ongoing calls in Ugandan for deployment of the UPDF following rise in random killing of travelers along the Nimule-Juba highway.
This comes after local newspapers in Uganda reported that the governments of South Sudan and Uganda had reached an agreement to deploy joint security forces to escort highway travelers to mitigate further deadly attacks.
However, deputy minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation Deng Dau denied that there is any agreement reached between the two countries saying South Sudan does not need Ugandan army in its territory to provide security.
Deng Dau Deng, deputy minister, says South Sudan has not reached any agreement with Uganda for a joint security escort on the Juba-Nimule Highway.
“There is no agreement, the government of South Sudan of course as sovereign it has the responsibility within the territory of the Republic of South Sudan to protect live and properties of the citizens,” Dau said, according to Eye Radio.
“The issue of the escort, patrol and safety of drivers has been considered by the government and the teams have been stationed for the last three weeks. Since the killing of two nuns the government have beef up the security and has increased the forces,” he added.
He said “We have no such a kind of agreement but of course UPDF has the responsibility to protect if there’s anything in the side of Uganda, but SSPDF and other organs have the responsibility to protect the drivers and to give escort.”
“We had a meeting with ambassadors from Kenya, Uganda and Somalia because these are our sisterly countries and most of the drivers comes from those countries and reaffirmed or reassure the ambassadors that there are steps taken by the government.
“We will travel with our team to Nimule and to discuss with drivers and transporters to give them reassurance as the resident ambassadors of those countries reside in South Sudan.”