167 South Sudan’s soldiers are being trained as snipers in Uganda: Sources

Soldiers of the Ugandan Special Forces. Photo: Getty Images/whispereye/File

Kampala, January 5, 2019 (SSNA) — More than 167 South Sudanese soldiers are being trained as snipers in Uganda as peace partners conduct “trust-building” meetings in Juba, two intelligence sources told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) on Saturday. The sources, a current South Sudanese and ex-Ugandan intelligence agents disclosed that the program is being run and managed by South Sudan’s National Security Services (NSS).

The South Sudanese officer, who talked to the SSNA exclusively and demanded his name not be published for fear of reprisal, explained that the new recruits started arriving in Uganda in late November and December of 2018. The agent revealed that the original number of the new recruits was 300 but 133 were dismissed because they failed to perform well during the training.

“300 soldiers were sent to Uganda to be trained as snipers by Ugandan Special Forces unit. They arrived there in the fourth week of November and early December last year,” the officer explained. “This is a covert operation,” he added.

The agent discloses to the SSNA that the operation is run by South Sudan’s Internal Security Bureau (ISB), a feared division of National Security Services (NSS). The officer asserts that ISB’s Director General, Akol Koor Kuc, is the person running the program.

James Moises, an ex-Ugandan spy who has been credited for numerous leaks between South Sudanese and Ugandan governments has also confirmed the report.

“A special unit in the Ugandan armed forces specialized in sniper training is definitely training South Sudanese soldiers. This program is ongoing,” he says.

In August last year, James told the South Sudan News Agency that Uganda began training at least 1,300 South Sudanese soldiers in Western Uganda district of Buliisa and that the new scheme was designed to effectively deal with rebel forces in Juba in case the ongoing peace collapses. James also revealed that the first batch of the Ugandan-trained snipers was clandestinely flown back to South Sudan in September last years and stationed in strategic locations around the capital, Juba.

The South Sudan News Agency was also told that an officer who commanded the new recruits was sent back to Juba after he deliberately tried to remove some soldiers from the program because they were of different ethnicities. It was not clear what ethnicity of the discharged officer.

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