The Gulu Catholic Archbishop Dr John Baptist Odama has cautioned
Uganda and South Sudan governments over fronting violence as alternatives to
His statements follow a standoff between South Sudan People’s
Defence Forces- SSPDF and Uganda People’s Defence Forces Soldiers on Tuesday
last week at the contentious Uganda-South Sudan border in Lokung sub-county,
Two SSPDF soldiers, part of an estimated 36 who had intruded into
the Ugandan territory were shot dead and one captured alive with three guns.
Speaking to the press in Kitgum Municipality, Archbishop Odama says the two neighbouring
countries share a lot in common historically and notes that both sides gain
nothing in engaging in conflicts to address a mishap.
Archbishop Odama who also doubles as Vice Chairperson of Acholi Religious
Leaders peace initiative says the two countries should look at promoting
avenues that improve the healthy relationship and economic boosts such as trade
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According to Archbishop Odama, Uganda is currently home to hundreds of thousands
of South Sudan refugees who fled violence arguing that if South Sudan engages
in conflict with Uganda, it would, on one hand, be fighting its citizens.
Uganda hosts some 882,699 South Sudan Refugees as of September 30 according to
data from the Office of the Prime Minister.
He called for dialogue through responsible people between the two nations to
resolve the impasse.
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Archbishop Odama through ARLPI, interfaith peace building, and conflict
transformation organization has been instrumental in brokering peace at the
height of the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency in Northern Uganda.
Lt Deo AKiiki, the Deputy UPDF Spokesperson in an earlier press
statement issued over the weekend noted that the continued incursions onto
Ugandan territory by South Sudan armed elements present a challenge not only to
the border communities but to the brotherly relations between the two nations.
He revealed that diplomatic engagements by relevant stakeholders are on-going
to complete the re-demarcation and reaffirmation of the common border to
forestall future conflicts between Uganda and South Sudan.