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Ugandan military begins evacuation of citizens from South Sudan

Ugandan military begins evacuation of citizens from South Sudan

South Sudan

Heavily armed Ugandan troops have entered South Sudan on Thursday to evacuate the country’s citizens from the capital Juba which has faced deadly clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and former rebels of Vice President Riek Machar last week.

Hundreds of soldiers and armored vehicles formed a convoy with about fifty trucks for the evacuation of the 3000 Ugandans stranded in the country, AFP reports.

This comes after Friday’s announcement by the president Yoweri Museveni who said on Friday that all Ugandans in the country will be evacuated.

South Sudan is a hot spot for Ugandan exports and many Ugandans trade in the country that has suffered civil war in 2013.

The head of the Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita), Mr Everest Kayondo, at a press conference on Tuesday bemoaned the fighting in South Sudan’s capital where the majority of Ugandan-owned businesses are concentrated.

“Our calculation indicates that each time there is such a massive interruption on our businesses in South Sudan, we lose about a million US dollars a day. So each single day our businesses are interrupted, as a country we lose an opportunity to make at least a million US dollars,” he said.

Uganda follows the United States, Germany, India, China and Japan among others who have evacuated their citizens.

The airport in the capital Juba is closed and airlines have canceled flights to the country making it difficult for people to leave by air.

Since Monday when the ceasefire was declared by the leaders of the rival warring factions, calm has returned to the capital that faced violence for four days.

Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed in the new outbreak of violence. The UN says some 36,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.