Is the updf involvement in Sudan justifiable? When should it withdraw?

Whereas the involvement of the army in southern Sudan was entirely void abitio, if it withdraws from the young state before any stability seems a reality, worse will turn to worst.

Uganda has probably got the external wars largely right from Congo to Somalia among others, but we have crushed this one and risked our integrity, respect and future relations with south Sudan that could cost us a worth.

You must do justice when going to war and in your conduct at the war .Those two bench marks form the jus ad bellum and jus in bello which are fundamental if a just war is to be realized in line with a just war theory.

The army and its leadership must know which type of war there are going to fight which I believe the UPDF leadership did with help of its experts, but the question to be dealt with is, was it the right type of war? Am liably informed that the army was in southern Sudan specifically to evacuate Ugandan citizens and perhaps help to prevent a larger war from happening, that means their involvement was entirely preventative, but preventive who from who, why and how. I will answer the above as I progress.

The background of preventative wars is very doomed in a sense that a few if any have been able to succeed. In many instances the party that is seemingly relies on a preventative war ends up the loser with its image greatly tarnished, that even worsens if the crisis is civil in nature.   The United Nations involvement in the Rwandan genocide in 1991 had boomeranged not until lot of aid was given and several conventions passed againstgenocide that saw the establishment of several tribunals specifically that ofArusha. All these somehow rebranded that organization imageamong people.

People are very reluctant to blame their won and very quick to blame an intruder.Quite a number of the south Sudanesecan easily blame Uganda other than any other internal camps and the effects can be seen as early as possible. Recent reports show that certain Sudanese mafias have tick started murders in Kampala and other parts of the country. Even the world powers like America have failed to properly manage a preventative war. The country’s involvement in Iraq with a guise of preventing development of weapons of mass destruction which could spike off a nuclear world war has not only tarnished their financial muscle but also made the Muslims all over the world perceive it as a nose popper.

Thomas Aquinas in his book summa thelogica he expounds on what entails a just war. He states that there must be a just cause which is sufficient enough. I find that the UPDF had a reason prima facia to intervene, if am looking at the Uganda’s trade estimates with the country and the southern Sudan being a member of several organizations with Uganda, but more so that you ought to have secure neighbors and boarders if you are to be secure as a country.

They should be proper authority from the state allowing the intervention which Aquinas calls representative leadership. This aspect is provided for under the constitution of Uganda under article 124. The legislature is the only arm of government to declare war despite the fact that the president as the fountain of honor who is deemed nationalistic is given tentative power to declare the same, but he must request for the legislative authority immediately with 72 hours. Every prudent Ugandan wound ably verdict that the construe of article 124 wasn’t followed and that backs my argument of the whole involvement being void abitio.

Was there a right intention that wasn’t manned by selfish interests? As you know it is only them who know the right intention because that is really vital information for national security. However the most standing intention to me has been the Ugandan trade with the country. I know of a fact that Kenya also has high trade transactions with the said country; several countries now get their oil from the said country. Was Uganda the only trade partner with the young state? That only can help us to subjectively assert that there is more than what meets the eye of me, parliament, media and you. As you know intention is a mind game we can only estimate, guess or use the surrounding circumstances to establish so. If Uganda was to only evacuate its citizenry from the state isn’t it long overdue to withdraw.

Finally Aquinas states that the army must first evaluate the possibility of achieving their goal and at what cost. The reason as to why preventative wars fail is because their involve a counter between civilians the common man of the country. The UN failed to prevent the genocide in Rwanda; Afghanistan is still burning even after the intervention of the America. South Sudan could not have been an exception given that fact that their civil wars take a little longer than any other in Africa. Did UPDF think it will resolve juba problems before Sudan comes in?it now correct to assert that they didn’t explore all the possible a venues. I also believe the army rushed their move that would have been vitalat least later. Our involvement inform of help could cost us our future relations with the country.

That is the reason why we shouldn’t withdraw now because the victor may not like us. Its better we keep in there until the true victor is seen and then pretend we are with him trying to protect him from the legitimate loser just for the seek of our relations, or keep their forever because any withdraw will be a slap defeat in our faces, all those are desperate moves but no option is available.

David mpanga says small stories can teach a lot, lets know that failure to fellow procedure can get you in deadlock if you are not an expert.

Luwagga Allan

Senior debater UCU.