KHARTOUM – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, and the leader of SPLMIO, Dr Riek Machar on a head to head match up in Khartoum yesterday discussed peace process and the issue of cluster bombs use by the Uganda’s UPDF along the Mangala – Bor road in the earlier stages of the south sudanese civil war last year, according to the aides who accompanied the former vice president to Khartoum yesterday.
Machar according to the aide squarely asked the Uganda’s strong man on the rationale behind the use of the banned weapons against a particular tribe in South Sudan. Museveni denied any authorisation of the ammunition and admitted that the bombs might have been used but through directives of certain individuals in the battalion that was heading to recapture Bor last year.
“Museveni refused to be drawn into this widespread report on cluster bombs use in Bor. He preferred not to talk about it but our chairman pressed him on in the meeting yesterday so that we have a clear information on why the bombs were used. Museveni instead suggested not to talk about it because we are in the peace process already and blaming here and there will not help the cause.” – the aide to the former South Sudanese Vice President told this reporter.
According to the aide, Museveni also promised that UPDF will be withdrawn in Bor and Juba within the next 30 days. He said that he has no intention of keeping UPDF in south sudan when peace has been signed. Machar on his part asked Museveni to take charge of the overall withdrawal plan and not to wait for the deployment of regional forces. a request Museveni agreed based on the fact that regional forces arent far away from being deployed.
MACHAR INVITED TO VISIT UGANDA
Museveni in the meeting personally invited Machar to go to Kampala as part of the peace implementation process. Museveni said that arrangements will be made for Machar to go to Kampala and also addresses Uganda parliament on peace implementation in South Sudan. Machar according to the aide didn’t categorically declined the invitation but said that his prime target is to ensure that peace returns to south sudan and fast. he however agreed to visit Kampala but not this early.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES