Accodring to Oryem, some Ugandans were killed after being run over by a military tank belonging to SPLA-IO
Kampala-Foreign Affairs minister Oryem Okello told Parliament yesterday that out of the 11 Ugandans who have so far been killed in South Sudan, six were killed after being run over at Jebel Kujur, by a military tank belonging to the SPLA-IO, a force belonging to Vice President Riek Machar.
While briefing the House on the situation in South Sudan, Mr Oryem, who described the situation in South Sudan as ‘remaining tense’, said the six bodies are yet to be retrieved because they are still in a territory being manned by Mr Machar’s forces.
“As soon as the situation relaxes, government will identify and return the Ugandans home,” he said. He, however, said government is taking all measures to ensure the safety of Ugandans and their evacuation.
“As of this morning (yesterday), 3,000 Ugandans assembled at Gumeo Market in Juba waiting to be evacuated,” Mr Oryem said. “For Ugandans in other parts of South Sudan, particularly in Wau and Torit, government has advised to limit their movements and where the situation warrants, move to the UN compounds.” Fighting broke out in Juba on Sunday between forces loyal to the President Salva Kiir and his first Vice President, Riek Marchar.
Mr Oryem said government has received reports that Mr Marchar’s forces are having an upper hand in terms of control and that Yei, a medium-sized city in southwest south Sudan, is expected to fall “into the hands of the rebels soon”.
That statement, however made MPs question why Uganda was referring to Mr Marchar as a rebel yet he is part of a coalition government.
The MPs also asked government to explain whether Ugandans would be compensated for the loss in Juba.
“For these losses, how does the government of South Sudan compensate our people? It’s not the first time our people have been killed yet we contributed so much in the attainment of their independence,” Mr Mohammad Nsereko, the Kampala Central, MP said.
Bulamogi MP Kenneth Lubogo said it was wrong for East Africa to admit South Sudan into the community.
“How can a country that has not proved to have a track record of human rights, failed to work with its neighbours to bring peace come into the East African Community,” he asked. “South Sudan doesn’t want to show that they appreciate the effort Uganda has put to bring peace in that country.”
Security Minister Henry Tumukunde, however, said government’s concern for now was to rescue Ugandans. He also said the country’s borders to the north are secure.
“National Security Council assessed the situation and made sure the situation in South Sudan doesn’t spill into Uganda, especially regarding the flow of weapons.
Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga wondered when normalcy would return.
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