Michael Lakony, the Amuru District LCV Chairperson, says there is an escalation of organized crimes such as livestock and motor vehicle thefts, human trafficking and smuggling among others at the Elegu border in Uganda and Nimule, the South Sudan side that threatens the peace of cross border community.
Amuru District authorities are demanding the creation of a special
security unit to curb transboundary crimes across Uganda - South Sudan border.
Michael Lakony, the Amuru District LCV Chairperson, says there is
an escalation of organized crimes such as livestock and motor vehicle thefts,
human trafficking and smuggling among others at the Elegu border in Uganda and
Nimule, the South Sudan side that threatens the peace of cross border
For instance, in March 2021 six suspected South Sudanese rustlers
stole 72 heads of cattle during a night attack on Lorikowor West village
in Elegu Town Council and Lodijokpe in Adjumani district, and the animals have
never been recovered.
Between 2018 to date, more than 300 cattle have been stolen by
criminals from Amuru and neighbouring Lamwo, Kitgum and Agago affecting the
livelihoods of post-conflict households.
During the same period, a motor vehicle was stolen in 2020 from
Elegu and police was able to recover it this year after several attempts to
pursue the criminals. Other contrabands that include narcotic drugs and light
weapons continue to be smuggled across the border.
Joseph Nsabimaana, the District Police Commander – DPC says
transnational organized crimes have become an emerging threat because once
suspects escape into another country, the security personnel cannot
expeditiously pursue them.
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Nsabimaana also explained that numerous porous border points facilitate transboundary
crimes which call for a special joint security establishment to expeditiously
track the perpetrators to face justice.
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Geoffrey Oceng Osborn, the Resident District Commissioner
disclosed that nine porous border points have been identified, and despite
security deployment, means of mobility to facilitate quick security patrol and
surveillance remains an uphill task.
The Uganda Revenue Authority – URA Regional Manager at Elegu, Ivan
Kakaire, says that though they will handle exports that enter South Sudan
through the gazetted One-Stop Border Point, there are existing ungazetted
porous border points being exploited by criminals.
The UPDFFourth Division Commander Brig. Gen. Bonny
Bamwesike noted that most criminals take advantage of the security situation in
South Sudan to commit crimes in Uganda. He called for regular and intensified
sensitization of the border community to detect and report crimes to
Captain Jamel Majok, the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces –
SSPDF Liaison Officer welcomed the gesture that will allow the two East African
countries to work closely together to ensure peace and security of the
The authorities also noted that while Interpol exists to respond
to transnational crimes, they are slowed by the bureaucratic processes involved
that criminals exploit to evade justice.