UPDF says no soldiers killed in South Sudan

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Uganda People’s Defence Force [UPDF] has dismissed as untrue reports claiming its soldiers denied in South Sudan.

Army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire‏ said on Sunday: “There is no iota of truth in what has been circulated by “Sixty 4 tribes Press” alleging death of Ugandan soldiers in Yei River.”

“Sixty 4 Tribes” which has since been labelled a website for fake news, reported on Saturday that 20 UPDF soldiers had died while 10 others were wounded while fighting with SPLA as hired mercenaries.

Karemire said the fact of the matter is that there are no UPDF combat troops deployed in South Sudan.

“This is an old photo, circulated in bad faith. Sixty4tribes press pulled pictures from an Al Shabaab propaganda website and photo-shopped them into their story, there is no iota of truth in what has been circulated,” Karemire added.

However, Klem Ryan‏, an International advisor on peacekeeping and former Coordinator of the Security Council Panel of Experts for South Sudan, seemed to contradict Karemire.

Ryan said the presence of UPDF in South Sudan has already been well established.

“Here is a section from the report of Security Council Panel of Experts from November 2018,” he said, sharing an excerpt alleging UPDF is still in South Sudan.

UPDF participated in the last South Sudan war which ended with a peace deal in Ethiopian and Sudan capitals restoring Riek Machar to his position of deputy president of South Sudan.

The national army has since come under both criticism and praise for coming to the aid of President Salva Kiir who faced an imminent overthrow.

Elwelu social media

Meanwhile, Karemire also dismissed as fake social media accounts said to belong to UPDF Land Forces Commander, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu.

“This is to inform all and sundry that there is no Facebook or Twitter account operated by Lt Gen Peter Elwelu,” Karemire said.

He said any information originating from these accounts is fake and should be ignored.

“Law enforcement agencies have meanwhile taken interest in the matter.”

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