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Sudan says Uganda plans to deploy 16,000 soldiers on its borders

February 26, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese official news agency (SUNA) quoted what it described as an “authorised source” as saying that 16,000 soldiers from the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) will be deployed on the borders between Sudan and South Sudan.

A contingent from the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (File photo)

The source blasted this step, saying it poses the risk of reigniting the war as in Sudan’s southern border.

South Sudan was aided by Ugandan troops in its war against the rebels led by former VP Riek Machar following the outbreak of civil war in December 2013.

Rebels allege that South Sudan pays Uganda $900 million per year to cover its military costs.

Last January Juba’s foreign minister Barnaba Benjamin assured that Ugandan troops will not be deployed in any border areas with Sudan.

The source told SUNA that UPDF deployment will be focused the Unity and Upper Nile states which are rich in oil adding that the target are areas where Machar’s forces are present.

“This move by the state of Uganda is unacceptable because it poses a threat to the stability of Sudan .. this work could lead to a raging war in the southern borders of Sudan,” the source said.

Sudan Tribune contacted a UPDF spokesperson who promised to return later with a comment.

Khartoum has recently declared that its relations with Kampala are in process of being normalised after years of exchanged accusations over harbouring rebels.

(ST)