Kampala, January 16, 2014 (SSNA) — Uganda’s media reports revealed that South Sudan and Uganda have signed a military contract long before fighting broke out in Juba late last year.
South Sudan, the world’s newest nation entered into military accord with Uganda on the 10th of January 2013, just over eleven months before fighting erupted in Juba on December 15, 2013. The South Sudan News Agency cannot independently verify the date the agreement was signed.
The pact declares that Ugandan soldiers who commit crimes in South Sudan will not be prosecuted or punished and denies benefits to the families of Ugandan soldiers killed in South Sudan, according the Daily Monitor Newspaper (Uganda).
“Member of visiting forces shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the sending state’s law and courts in respect of any disciplinary or criminal offences which may be committed by them in the territory of the Hose state”, the agreement says.
“In case the host State establishes any member of a visiting force has committed any criminal act in the territory of the Host State, the Host State shall promptly inform the sending state of the alleged criminal act of its member and avail the sending state material evidence pertaining to the criminal act alleged”, the document reads in part.
The military pact bears the name of Uganda’s Defense minister, Crispus Kiyonga. However, the treaty does not provide a person’s name on behalf of the Republic of South Sudan; raising questions as to why a sovereign nation should sign such a colossal treaty without making it public.
Earlier this week, Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni admits that Ugandan troops are helping South Sudanese President Salva Kiir fight rebels.
Uganda has been widely suspected of fighting alongside with forces loyal to President Kiir. Most South Sudanese believe that Yoweri Museveni has chosen Kiir’s side. The recent disclosure over Kampala’s military participation in South Sudan could further fuel the conflict.