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Middle East

S. Sudan rebels say Uganda 'mercenaries' hurt peace

An unidentified man sits in the gun turret while leading a convoy of armoured vehicles from both the South Sudanese government forces and Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF), as they drive through the streets of Bor, Jonglei State, South Sudan Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)

KAMPALA: The leader of rebels in South Sudan says he wants Ugandan troops to leave South Sudan and political detainees freed before he can commit to a deal with the government.

A Twitter account believed to be run by former Vice President Riek Machar posted Monday that the presence of Ugandan "mercenaries" in South Sudan is an obstacle to a cease-fire agreement.

Both conditions are not likely to be met by the government of President Salva Kiir, who insists unrest across the country was sparked by a failed coup attempt in mid-December. He wants the political prisoners to face trial, and has sought the assistance of Uganda's military to fight the rebels.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said last week that some Ugandan troops have been killed and wounded.

 

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