JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — An official says Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is in South Sudan to advance regional efforts to find a political solution to the country's crisis.

Fred Opolot, a spokesman for Uganda's Foreign Ministry, said Monday that Museveni visited South Sudan "in the spirit" of diplomatic efforts by East African leaders who want President Salva Kiir and his rivals to start peace talks by Tuesday.

Museveni, a strong ally of Kiir's, has deployed troops to Juba, the South Sudan capital, but the military denies Uganda has taken sides in the conflict.

Ugandan military spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said Ugandan forces were stationed at the airport and their role is to "facilitate evacuation" of civilians.

Up to 180,000 people have been displaced by violence since December 15, 2013 according to the United Nations.

(Story by The Associated Press)