Ugandan People's Defence Forces (UPDF) has refuted claims that its soldiers were ambushed and injured in South Sudan while reportedly enroute to evacuate trapped Ugandan citizens.
On Tuesday, President Museveni ordered the evacuation of Ugandans trapped in South Sudan following fresh clashes that erupted last week between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loya to his vice Dr Riek Machar claiming more than 300 with thousands displaced.
Lt Hassan Ahmad Kato, the 4th Division spokesperson said on Wednesday that the allegations circulating on social media that UPDF had been ambushed were false because UPDF is yet to enter South Sudan.
"UPDF has not yet entered South Sudan, they are not there and we haven't gotten into contact with any armed force in south Sudan. It's true that we (UPDF) are in preparation of receiving our people who have been trapped following the fighting," Lt Kato said.
He added that "Our main mission at the moment in south Sudan is to ensure safe evacuation of our people back home. ... ... we want to have a peaceful evacuation and nothing else as might be misunderstood by some people."
He also refuted claims that the border between Uganda and South Sudan has been closed saying it is a fallacy.
"The roads are just unsafe because of the continued ambushes being staged by unknown gunmen," he added.
Lt Kato noted that the UPDF is set to intervene for evacuation mission in South Sudan once it gets full clearance.
There have been several reports of ambushes staged by unknown gunmen along high ways leading to and out of Juba capital.
On Wednesday morning, armed men ambushed and shot at a Somali driver Mr Abdul Hassan, 28 along Pageri village in Magwi County while he was fleeing Juba capital.
Mr Hassan was shot in both thighs by the assailants but he luckily drove through the ambush up to Nimule town where he was brought to Elegu Border point for medical treatment.
The Shooting in Magwi County brings to six the numbers of people who have been shot in ambushes by unknown gunmen along pegeri, Pajok and Aruu Junctions between Monday and Tuesday while fleeing Juba capital.
Others shot at include Mr Johannaz Nzua 36, a Zimbabwean and Ms Rachael Abuoi 40, a S. Sudanese all employees of Mine Advisory Group.
While Others are Mr Mwonge Peter, a Kenyan who was shot in the Back at Aruu Junction Magwi county and Mr Emiru Peter, a resident of Kaberamaido district who was also shot in the right foot all at in Aruu Junction onTuesday evening.
By press time, over 30 trucks meant to transport Ugandans to rescued were still stationed at the fourth division barracks in Gulu town.
Source: The Monitor