Army enters S/Sudan to evacuate citizens
Ah e a v i l y - a r m e d Ugandan military convoy crossed into South Sudan on Thursday to evacuate citizens trapped by recent fighting in the capital Juba, an AFP reporter at the border said.
The convoy of around 50 trucks escorted by machine gun-mounted armoured vehicles crossed the border at Nimule to rescue Ugandans in the capital 200 kilometres (120 miles) to the north, and open up a secure corridor for fleeing civilians who have been attacked by bandits and renegade soldiers.
“We plan to go to Juba to extract 3,000 Ugandans stranded by fighting, but that number may grow as we will evacuate anyone who wants to leave of any nationality,” said army chief Brigadier Leopold Kyanda. “There may even be some South Sudanese who want to leave.”
“Juba is totally peaceful and calm now and we do not expect any problems. The problems could be on the road where there are some few thugs. The first responsibility of any UPDF soldier is to protect himself and we are confident in this,” Kyanda said.
Uganda military personnel are seen atop military and police trucks as they drive towards Juba in South Sudan at Nimule border point yesterday.