“In peace one is despoiled by the mercenaries, in war by one’s enemies.” – Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
There has been speculations and even reports of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) return to the war-torn republic of South Sudan. President Salva Mayardiit Kiir and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has long-standing friendship and they have helped each other out in the past. This is a continuation of this; there has been reports of technical help and also support of weapons from Uganda. Now, the opposition and rebel force SPLM/A-IO are claiming they have returned.
“Rebels disclosed that Ugandan soldiers are already in Bentiu and warned that more troops should arrive in other locations within days or weeks to help Juba fight against the SPLA-IO. “We have solid information that Ugandan soldiers are now in Bentiu area,” Khamis Mawwil, an officer with the SPLA-IO intelligence branch told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in Maiwut. Khamis claims that the armed opposition has a good number of intelligence operatives in Uganda and that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni ordered the return of Ugandan troops to the war-torn young nation. “Uganda’s leader ordered the deployment of his troops to South Sudan, there is no question about that,” Khamis charged. “We will crush them if they don’t want peace,” he vowed” (South Sudan News Agency – ‘Uganda accused of secretly sending troops to South Sudan’ 17.04.2018).
This is not a surprise; this has been a waiting game for the parties. They have both worked slowly towards this. That the UPDF would support the SPLA would be like weapon brothers coming in to crush the all the rebels in the republic.
That the UPDF would support SPLA in their endeavours at this point is to be estimated. Especially, when during the last month, President Museveni said he would support SPLA even if the United States would enact an arms embargo. Therefore, the one who keeps the refugees from the South Sudan. Is also a major part in the reason for the refugees. The safe haven, is also the place where the support of military actions is from.
That should be a warning sign, that the SPLM/A-IG would say it isn’t so, is to be expected. That the UPDF without any mandate would counter it too, but every time the UPDF can be a hired gun in a conflict, they will take it. The need for foreign exchange and be used in mercenaries in foreign land, that is okay in the eyes of the President. UPDF are used in Equatorial Guinea, Yemen, Somalia, Central African Republic, sometimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo and possibly after reports now in South Sudan.
The Ugandan army doesn’t come in peace, but to gain monetary funds from conflict. They are doing this as a service to Kiir and his government. Not for the betterment of the Republic, but to secure their war-lord in South Sudan. The friend of Museveni, the man who is loyal to him. That is what matters. Not peace or justice. No, that comes short in this tale of weapons.
So, I am not shocked for the return of the UPDF in Bentiu area. That was expected, because that is how Museveni acts and one of the vital relations of Kiir. Kiir needs the help from Museveni, and Museveni knows this. Time will tell how long they will stay and what sort of manpower they bring this time around. Peace.