THE South Sudanese government announced on Monday that it has signed a long-term military cooperation agreement with Uganda.
The announcement came after South Sudan defence Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk and his Ugandan counterpart, Crispus Kiyonga held a meeting at which they discussed military and weapons cooperation.
Full details of the agreement are yet to be made public, although it’s understood it will allow Uganda to start buying weapons and other military hardware on behalf of South Sudan’s government.
“We have signed the cooperation agreement in order to work together and support each other”, Juuk told the state-owned South Sudan Television (SSTV).
The joint military accord comes at a time of faltering peace talks between the two warring sides of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and ex-vice president Riek Machar, who was sacked and accused of plotting a coup, amid fears the world’s youngest nation is on the verge of famine.
Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk also said that the country would use the arms to “bolster security” and not violate the present cease-fire with the rebel army.
But James Gatdet Dak, the rebel spokesman, described the deal as Uganda’s latest effort to “empower” Mr. Kiir “to wage war.”