Uganda has confirmed that nine Ugandan soldiers have been killed and 12 others wounded during a month-long fighting in South Sudan, dismissing rebel claims to have killed scores.
General Katumba Wamala was quoted by Ugandan newspaper The Daily Monitor  on Wednesday that the casualties occurred in a single rebel ambush in the southern location of Gemeza while troops were moving towards the city Bor a week ago.
Wamala’s statement countered claims by South Sudanese rebels and Ugandan opposition members that scores of soldiers had been killed.
Ugandan troops were deployed to neighboring South Sudan five days after fighting broke out on December 15, 2013. The soldiers have been fighting alongside South Sudanese government forces against rebels loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar.
The Ugandan soldiers have reportedly helped government troops to capture key locations including the retake of Bor, the capital of oil-rich Jonglei State on January 18. 
Machar has demanded Uganda to withdraw all of its forces and has also questioned Kampala’s neutrality in ongoing ceasefire talks.
Uganda is a key member of the East African regional bloc IGAD, which is mediating deadlocked talks between the two sides of the conflict in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
A draft IGAD ceasefire accord presented to peace delegates meeting in Addis Ababa has urged both sides of the conflict to sign the deal to end “all military actions.”
The violence erupted after President Salva Kiir accused militia forces headed by Machar of attempting to stage a coup. Machar denied the accusations.
Up to 10,000 people are believed to have been killed so far in the violent clashes and according to the United Nations, another 400,000 civilians have fled their homes over the past month”

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