UPDF Mission in South Sudan Illegal

John-Ken Lukyamuzi

MP, Lubaga South, Uganda.

UPDF officers undergoING drills in South Sudan recently in preparation of the next phase of war (Photo: DPU)

UPDF officers undergoING drills in South Sudan recently in preparation of the next phase of war (Photo: DPU)

April 9, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Whatever President Museveni’s government says, the continued stay of Ugandan troops in South Sudan grossly violates international law and must be urgently reviewed.

Fighting broke out in mid-December 2013 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those faithful to his former vice president Dr Riek Machar. Within five days, Uganda had been sucked into the war, sending in troops under Col Kayanja Muhanga.

It is true that a motion seeking the troops’ deployment was moved by the minister of defence, Dr Crispus Kiyonga, and was passed on January 14, 2014 in purported compliance with Article 210 (d) of the Ugandan constitution.

However, by the time parliament pronounced itself, the Ugandan troops had already been deployed in South Sudan. The leader of opposition in parliament, Wafula Ogutu, strongly opposed the circumstances under which the troops had gone in.  However, parliament went on to play a window-dressing role in passing the motion on the strength of government’s dominant numbers of MPs.

Worst of all, debate on the issue, was stifled. Ugandan authorities had previously claimed that their forces were in South Sudan only to evacuate their citizens and protect the airport as well as the presidential palace.

The question people continue to ask is why Uganda rushed in just after the spark of the war. When parliament debated this issue on January 14, 2014, it asked government to show it a copy of the letter that invited our troops to South Sudan, but since then, the letter has never been seen.

Therefore, the agreement signed between South Sudan and Uganda cannot be enough justification for the deployment of our troops because it had to be subjected to parliamentary approval.

Consent for the Ugandan troops to enter another state exists ‘inwards’ but there is no documentary evidence to back it. Others have said that the written agreement between Uganda and South Sudan is good enough to be acceptable in accordance with international law. But under the Ugandan constitution, parliamentary approval for such a giant deal is a prerequisite as it also involves expenditure from the consolidated fund.

Who pays for the UPDF’s [Uganda People’s Defence Forces] stay in South Sudan? South Sudan claims to be paying for only UPDF’s internal movement. With reference to Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, South Sudan’s entry into a military cooperation with another state like Uganda is well-covered under the declaration on the principles of international law, concerning friendly relations and cooperation among states in accordance with the UN charter.

While it is true that the civil war in South Sudan is catastrophic to the living conditions of Ugandans, it is equally true that the way forward shouldn’t be reduced to combatant action. As a member of the UN General Assembly, Uganda knows that under the doctrine of state responsibility, it can invoke UN Resolution No. 3314 to internationally address the safety of its citizens in South Sudan through arbitration.

It can also seek redress from the International Court of Justice on the same matter to demand for reparations with reference to the case of DRC versus Uganda (2005).

There is a problem in South Sudan. It appears that both sides in the South Sudan civil war are planning for the conflict to continue. The agreements signed on the cessation of hostilities in Addis Ababa have not reached any meaningful end. It was recently remarked that the Ugandan soldiers are busy preparing for fresh war upon learning that the general elections in South Sudan could be  extended for another three years from now.

Elections in South Sudan are necessary and shouldn’t be postponed because they are an appropriate solution to the ongoing war. If organized well, they could bring the present state of unrest to an end.

Under the present state of affairs, Uganda’s continued stay in South Sudan without time limit is a threat to international law. After all, Uganda does not have a locus standi to plead self-defence in the South Sudan conflict. Its presence is dependent on consent from South Sudan.

The Igad [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] in conjunction with the UN Peace Mission should constitute a new humanitarian law force to replace the Ugandan troops in South Sudan.

The Security Council should issue directives on the security situation in that country before the situation becomes uncontrollable. Once that is done, Uganda’s continued stay in South Sudan would be in conflict with international law.

John-Ken Lukyamuzi is the MP for Lubaga South and Conservative Party president.

  10 comments for “UPDF Mission in South Sudan Illegal

  1. GatNor
    April 9, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    absolutely illegal.


    • GatNor
      April 9, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      it seem that Ugandan citizens have no say on whether their national troops being on the ground on south sudan soil defending a lie
      (a made up coup story that was thrown out of court)
      What is Uganda really fighting for? war profits? how will they answer to the losses incurred overtime in human costs. are they ready to give salva kiir a political asylum & for how long of a commitment when it come time for Kiir to vacate. have they even debate on the retribution consequences of supporting a government who is terrorizing the citizens of their neighborly country. How will the future of Uganda be affected and be promising when Uganda of now interferes with the internal affairs of its sovereign neighboring nation like south sudan. How would the Ugandans feel with their neighbor countries interfering in their Uganda’s internal affairs. Are Ugandans aware of the nasty Genie M7 has let out of the bottle only to leave it behind for them to contain when M7 leaves power. These are some questions Ugandan citizens should openly ask themselves with sincere debate in their parliament if they have any.


  2. April 9, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Is not illegal for any nation in any world to call another country to reinforcing your country for example, Ethiopia took part in Somalia, Uganda still have troops in there and there are many countries in Africa contributed troops in order to make Somalia nation stable. Remember when the rebels of Mali had overrun the government troops in Northern Mail and they did managed to captured second city in the nation and they were heading to nation’s capital but the president of Mail made called for reinforcement forces including foreign forces from France so the government have all authorities to calls on foreign helps if they feel threaten by any thing. The South Sudan’s government have the rights to call for back up by Supper powers nations like Russia, China, United Kingdom, United States Of America and the France but it is not a violation for the International law but it is officially lawful practices in any nation around the world.

    Please keep singing about complaining always for Ugandan troops however, the Ugandan are not in the front-line since they have returned back to Juba and they can only reinforcing air power to South Sudan’s SPLA troops if they wanted otherwise, the rebels are making complains for escaped-goat because they do not want to admitted their defeats by South Sudan’s SPLA in the last 16 Months and the Pro Juba SPLA are getting strong never before and soon or later on you will see the real South Sudanese air power arrived.


  3. April 9, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    M7 understimated Dr. Machar’s power militarily. Also, M7 didn’t know that Dr. Machar was the top best Gen. who fought so well during North-South war. Mr. Museveni did also thought they[Kiir-M7] could arest Dr. Machar easily because he[Dr] was removed from vice-presidency-position and moreover he was not in active military command. Now as we talks & as well as a result; Kiir-Museveni ‘re in hot soup in which I don’t think they two will come out safetly.


  4. April 10, 2015 at 12:01 am

    White army will storm Uganda, it is a matter of time don’t cry yet!


  5. Madong Kuoth
    April 10, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Citizens of Uganda did not know their Nation Armies put future investment of M7(Oil money in South Sudan). M7 does not understand that Dr.Machar had had never never captured by militarily in during 11 years with late Garang. M7 will price what he involved in this tribal war.


  6. April 10, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Uganda is a spoiler and is only in South Sudan in order to prevent democracy from talking place in South Sudan.
    A democratic South Sudan is a threat to Uganda. It will prevent Mussevini sons from succeeding him. And it will also cause an up raising in Uganda where people are yearning for change in government to end his rule for life.
    Tell me how long Mussevin has been in power and I will tell you how many years Kir wants to stay in power? A democratic South Sudan is good for Africa.


  7. opiyo george
    April 10, 2015 at 9:47 am

    I Request The White Army When Time Of Pay Back Comes,should Start Revenge From Karuma South Wards.


  8. April 10, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Insider Breaking Newwwwsss!!!!:



    The count-down for expiration of the “Jieng Elders Regime” has begun tick-toking towards the end of June 2015!

    Brace yourselves and welcome the New Regime of DengKoor – the much awaited regime of all regimes worldwide. The regime ” in bi bel le tang toll ” that will start growing abundant natural food for the hungry world!


  9. Amingo
    April 11, 2015 at 1:35 am

    UPDF have been using as slave army by Museveni instead of National army


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