South Sudan leaders 'run to Uganda for help'By DAVID LIVINGSTONE OKUMU | Friday, May 4 2012 at 09:56
South Sudanese leaders have asked for Uganda’s help as war drums continue to be sounded between Africa’s youngest nation and Khartoum, warning a defeat of their military would have adverse security ramifications for their southern neighbour.
According to Uganda's Daily Monitor, the Governor of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State, Mr Joseph Bakosoro Bangasi, sent emissaries to northern Uganda last week to impress upon government officials there, the necessity for a pro-active intervention.
The State’s Youth minister, Mr Gibson Bullen Wande, warned of the possibility of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) fighters re-bounding to terrorise northern Uganda, as they did for two decades until 2005, if Sudan Armed Forces were to overrun Sudan People’s Liberation Army in an all-out war.
“You must be ready to face the LRA should Sudan defeat the SPLA forces,” he reportedly said during a talk-show on the state-owned Mega FM radio in Gulu.
“LRA can easily come back to northern Uganda with the aid of the Sudan.”
Ugandan military officials in the past week pointed an accusing finger at Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir’s government that it recently provided sanctuary to Kony in a part of Bahr-al-Ghazal under its military’s control.
Defence Spokesperson Felix Kulayigye said they learnt from rescued abductees that Sudan also resumed arming and providing uniforms to the LRA, an allegation Khartoum denies.
The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) would not hold back fire if SAF attacked South Sudan, local media quoted the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Aronda Nyakairima, as having warned last week.
Sudan’s embassy in Kampala did not respond to the threat, but its envoy to South Africa said such military involvement would boomerang.
‘‘Countries that make such meaningless statements are playing with fire,” Dr Ali Yousif Ahmed, reportedly told Channel Islam International radio in Johannesburg.
“Sudan is a sovereign country and does not accept such threats.’’
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary James Mugume, in response to the weekend appeal by South Sudan’s regional officials, said Uganda “does not receive requests through governors”.
“This is not a Ugandan issue; it is bilateral between Sudan and South Sudan,” Mr Mugume said by telephone.
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