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Four Armed South Sudanese Arrested in Kitgum

Fifth Infantry Division Commander Brig William Bainomugisha says the frequent incursion of bandits from South Sudan into Uganda is a result of a large number of illegal guns in the hands of locals following the long civil unrest.
South Sudan bandits that were released by Ugandan security personnel in Kitgum District in January this year.

Audio 2

Four South Sudanese have been held over illegal intrusion and possession of firearms in Ugandan territory.

The suspects were arrested by Uganda People's Defence Forces -UPDF soldiers from Lucom village in Okuti Parish, Orom East Sub-county, in Kitgum District on Saturday. They reportedly crossed in the country from Eastern Equatoria state.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says the suspects were intercepted in a foiled cattle raid after the army was alerted of their incursion.

Komakech says the suspects were found in possession of one Sub machine gun-SMG and two Mark Five Guns loaded with unspecified rounds of ammunition.

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Komakech notes that the suspects are being detained at an undisclosed location adding that they are liaising with their counterparts in South Sudan on how to peacefully release them.

He says the peaceful release of the suspects is one of the ways the two neighboring countries are trying to promote co-existence. 

According to Komakech, the gesture is one way of ensuring that the culprits reform without being subjected to harsh punishment in Uganda that may derail peaceful approaches along with the common border point.

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Fifth Infantry Division Commander Brig William Bainomugisha says the frequent incursion of bandits from South Sudan into Uganda is a result of a large number of illegal guns in the hands of locals following the long civil unrest.

Brig Bainomugisha also reiterated that the army along with the leadership in Kitgum will engage their neighbors diplomatically to ensure the suspects are safely released.

The arrest of the suspects comes just three months after Kitgum security authorities released 15 armed South Sudanese bandits who were intercepted in January also in a botched revenge attack.

Two of the suspects were arrested from Palabek Ogili sub-county in Lamwo district armed with two guns and grenades while 13 were apprehended in Orom Sub County, with five guns. The Guns were however retained with the security personnel for further investigation before they are destroyed.

In a bilateral security meeting held in Orom Sub-county, between Ugandan and South Sudanese security and government officials, the two countries agreed to jointly fight the illegal infiltration of south Sudanese bandits along the common international border