Ugandan military announced Thursday that armed gunmen attacked its troops on evacuation mission of the country’s citizens trapped in resurgence of fighting between two South Sudan rival army factions in the capital, Juba
Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, spokesperson of Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in a statement issued in Kampala said that three soldiers were injured after a group of armed men hit one of the convoy trucks at Pagiri, Magwi County in Eastern Equatorial state, South Sudan heading for evacuation exercise.
“Attempted ambush on a UPDF evacuation convoy repulsed. Three soldiers got minor injuries. The convoy continued,” said Ankunda.
The convoy of around 50 trucks, escorted by machine gun-mounted armoured vehicles on Thursday, crossed the border at Nimule, some 200 kilometers from Juba to help evacuate about 3,000 citizens trapped in the recent fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and forces loyal to the Vice President, Riek Machar.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday ordered the UPDF to immediately evacuate all the East African country citizens caught up in the weekend fighting between the two rival army factions.
Henry Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs told Xinhua on Wednesday that at least ten of its citizens were killed and over ten others injured in the fighting.
South Sudan’s Health Ministry says at least 271 people were killed in last Friday’s clashes. The exact number of those killed in fighting since Sunday to date is not yet known.
President Kiir and former rebel leader Machar have fought a civil war which broke out in December 2013 and left tens of thousands of people dead.
A peace deal signed by the two men last August under UN pressure led to the formation of a national government in April with Machar returning to his old post.