JUBA: The surprise visit to Juba South Sudan of Uganda’s President Museveni almost ended in tragedy when a group of unnamed combatants – now believed to be intoxicated SPLA fighters – shot at the President’s motorcade close to the airport in Juba, Saakam has learned.
Witnesses at the scene said perpetrators were summarily rounded up shortly after being beaten like rented mules. They had been boozing for days anticipating an assault by rebel forces, and booze – it is believed- multiplies the targets a soldier can aim at and shot effectively in combat.
The shots did not even come close motor and no one was injured as – except of course the soldiers some of which lost the few remaining teeth they had after surviving tribal initiation, tobacco-use related tooth loss and using years of opening beer bottles using the teeth.
Reactions following the incident suggest that the soldiers – in their traumatized and intoxicated state – mistook the strange mix of forces UPDF and the President Kiir private army as rebels attacking or preparing to attack them.
The incident did not seem to have impacted the visit as Pres. Museveni stayed a few more hours visiting his forces, meeting with the President of South Sudan, and flying over an island north of Juba believed to have been gifted to him by South Sudan.
Speaking to an Ethiopian bar tender later that day in a bar by the River Nile, an official who attended the meeting was heard saying the delegation travelling with the President was only interested to know whether the alcohol consumed in by the SPLA was a produce of Ugandan, and whether Uganda can capitalize on that business.
“At the rate these soldiers drink alcohol, imagine the business opportunity we (Uganda) have in South Sudan. If we succeed in selling them our Waragi (alcohol)… South Sudan should not worry about the rebels, they should celebrate their independence, the UPDF will defend the airport and Nimule road to make sure the booze keeps coming…,” a voice was heard saying.