Reports indicate that four Ugandans have been killed and an estimated 200, 000
are believed to be trapped in South Sudanese capital Juba which has seen heavy fighting between government forces and mutinous soldiers.
Reliable sources however say that only about 120 Ugandans managed to cross back into Uganda on Wednesday with help from Sudanese army. Sources also add that at least seven other Ugandan buses were allowed to go to Juba to collect Ugandans who are trapped in fighting that has gone on for four days now.
The four day fighting has reportedly left about 500 people killed, according to the United Nations and thousands more injured as soldiers reportedly loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar fought around the capital Juba and other military basses.
While South Sudan President Salva Kiir had on Tuesday claimed his troops had defeated the mutinous rebels, continued fighting and reports that the rebels have now taken control of the military basses, suggests that the conflict is far from over.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly talked to his counterpart Salva Kiir and urged him to calm down the situation.
Sources say that President Museveni’s role as senior statesman would help sober up the fighting factions. Uganda’s information minister Rose Namayanja yesterday said the government is taking a neutral stance in the fighting.
Majority of the Ugandans currently trapped in Sudan went there to engage in small business like selling selling perishables and foodstuffs while as few others have been dealing in services like transportation, banking and construction sector.
Observers say that fighting was always expected anytime especially since President Kiir sacked his entire cabinet back in July 2013.
“Where did he (Kiir) expect the expelled ministers would go?” asked one observer who preferred anonymity.
The sacking of his revolution-era colleagues sparked a power struggle especially among the Nuers, which is the second biggest tribe in South Sudan’s highly tribalised society.
Ex-VP Machar is a Nuer while Kiir is a Dinka. It is believed that the Dinka’s, who comprise nearly 50 percent of the population, have dominated key positions in government and the military and marginalised others from other tribes.
President Kiir has reportedly said he is willing to talk to Machar to resolve their differences.