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Uganda denies it used cluster bombs in South Sudan

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Monday, 12 May 2014 15:35

The denial followed reports by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) that it had found evidence of the use of cluster bombs in areas controlled by the Ugandan army and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Those saying that we used cluster bombs are our enemies

UNMISS, in its human rights report titled ‘Conflict in South Sudan’ said: “Opposition forces controlled Bor town from December 31, 2013 to January 18, 2014.

“They pushed south and heavy fighting occurred between them and government forces supported by UPDF (Ugandan army).

“In that period UNMISS is aware of several instances of aerial bombardments by Ugandan forces”.

But Uganda’s Foreign Affairs minister Okello Oryem refuted the allegations, describing them as “rubbish.”

“There is no way Uganda can be involved in using cluster bombs because she is a signatory to the convention against the use of cluster ammunition,” Oryem said.

South Sudan invited Uganda to assist in the fight against rebels led by former vice president Riek Machar .

Fighting broke up in the country’s capital Juba on December 15, 2013 before spreading into other parts of the country.

Hundreds of people have been killed during the fighting and over one million displaced.

Thousands of refugees have fled to neighbouring countries including Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Democratic republic of Congo and Kenya.

Ugandan army logistics officer Henry Okot said they do not have cluster bombs in their armory.

He labeled those making the accusations enemies of Uganda and South Sudan.

“Those saying that we used cluster bombs are our enemies,” Okot said.

“No wonder some UN vehicles carrying weapons were sometime back impounded on their way to areas occupied by South Sudan rebels .”

Early March, security officials in South Sudan claimed they intercepted 11 UN trucks loaded with an assortment of firearms destined to areas controlled by rebels.

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