Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ethiopia is gearing up to deploy about 2000 strong forces to South Sudan

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Defence Forces have confirmed that the government of Addis Ababa is amassing forces of 2000 soldiers supported by 4 fighter jets and over 35 tanks are set to be deployed in the war torn South Sudan as early as March next year to provide security and maintain stability around Juba, Paloch Oilfields (Upper Nile State) and Bentiu (Unity State).
Major General Yohannes Woldegiorgis Tesfay, one of the expected generals to be deployed to the war-ravaged South Sudan has told The Upper Nile Times that the forces will act alone and not as part of the Ethiopian troops already deployed there as part of the UNMISS forces.
“No no. This contingent of forces will be deployed as part of IGAD to maintain security in most volatile areas of South Sudan. its not a part of UN forces. We are requested by IGAD to contribute forces just like the other countries in the region. So the government and the army are looking about deploying this forces by March.” – Maj Gen Yohannes said.

South Sudan’s fragile peace process is worrying neighbouring IGAD countries about the possibility of the crisis spilling over to the region. Ethiopia in her part are worried about the presence of Ugandan troops in South Sudan and for taking part of in the conflict on the side of Salva Kiir.
Ugandan President, Gen Yoweri Museveni has reiterated his reluctant to redeploy the UPDF (Ugandan People Defence Forces) from South Sudan saying the time is not ripe for UPDF withdrawal.
Museveni in a meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that the issue is not about the UPDF presence in South Sudan but about peace among the South Sudanese.
“The problem is not with Uganda. The problem is peace among South Sudanese, and in order to not leave a vacuum we agreed that other IGAD countries should deploy and now they are deploying…..I think Ethiopian forces are already there (in South Sudan), and Rwanda is there. Once they are ready, and can ensure that at least Juba is not affected … then we shall go back. There is no big issue.” – Museveni said