Prof. Mamdani Advises On South Sudan Peacekeeping

Professor Mahmood Mamdani the Director Makerere University Institute of social research says although Uganda was credited for stopping the war in 2013 when fighting broke out, Uganda was also blamed for supporting one of the warring parties.

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The African Union Peace Keeping force to South Sudan should not comprise of forces from neighboring countries of East Africa which have a direct interest, renowned scholar Prof. Mahmood Mamdani has said.

In an interview with Uganda Radio Network, Mamdani who is the director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research and is also a specialist of East Africa and Politics says countries like Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa are better placed to support the peace keeping process in South Sudan as they do not have direct interest with the country.

Fighting broke out between forces loyal to First vice President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir on 7th July leading to the death of 300 people and 1.6 million people were displaced. Reports from the African Union indicated that Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan are part of the countries to supply troops for the Juba mission.

Mamdani says some of the neighboring countries like Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan have historical connection with one of the warring parties in South Sudan and directly have interest which would affect the peace keeping mission.

He says that although Ugandan troops were credited for stopping the war in 2013 when the rivalry between Vice President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir broke out, Uganda was also blamed for supporting one of the sides.

He says the records of some of these troops are documented clearly. He says the neighbors are crucial but they can only get involved at a distance.

Cue in: “of course the neighbors…………………………………..

Cue out:…………………………………….that's not the answer”//

According to Mamdani, the objective of the peace mission will not be achieve if countries like Sudan who still have a fresh history with the south is engaged in the peace keeping process.

Meanwhile Philip Kasaija Apuuli, an associate professor at Makerere University's department of Political science says that all countries have interest and it is very important for countries with interest to be a part of the peace keeping.

He says Uganda is losing billions of shillings in trade out of the South Sudan conflict and this makes them a major player.

Although the Government of South Sudan headed by Salva Kiir had rejected the deployment of an additional troop in South Sudan, the Intergovernmental Agency on Development (IGAD) and South Sudan cabinet minister Dr Martin Elia Lomuro have confirmed that troops will now be deployed.

President Yoweri Museveni also recently declared that Uganda is willing to deploy troops in South Sudan when called upon.