Ugandan soldiers were killed and many injured during a heavy battle with the South Sudan rebels in Juba early this week, President Museveni revealed.
Museveni said this on Thursday admitting that the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) is actively fighting against Riek Machar’s rebels on behalf of the South Sudan government.
“Only the other day, January 13, the SPLA and elements of our army had a big battle with the rebel troops about 90km from Juba where we inflicted a big defeat on them,” Museveni said.
This comes a day after the Members of Parliament approved the motion to send the UPDF soldiers to South Sudan.
However, Museveni hails the Ugandan troops for the effort done in defeating the rebels.
“Unfortunately, many lives were lost on the side of the rebels. We also took casualties and had some dead,” he added without giving figures.
The resident revealed this on Wednesday at the International Conference on the great Lakes Region (IGCLR) Summit in Luanda, Angola.
Since December 15, there has been violence in South Sudan after rebels led by Riek Machar attempted to a coup against President Salvar Kiir’s government.
At least 300,000 people have been left displaced and many killed during the fighting.
Uganda government is giving the South Sudan government support to defeat the rebels. President Museveni said the crisis in as a result of power struggle and also ideological, organisational and discipline issues.
He however, blames the SPLM party for not resolving their disagreement within the party structures.
Meanwhile, some MPs have negatively reacted on Museveni’s revelations saying the government lied that Ugandan troops were only evacuating Ugandans.
Abdu Katuntu, the Shadow Attorney General said: “As Parliament, we need to take steps immediately now that we know we were lied to. We need the Executive to account for Ugandans they put in harm’s way because they got our approval fraudulently.”
Col Paddy Ankunda, the army spokesperson says that the details at Ugandan troops are still scanty at the moment but affirms that they have been successful in the battle.