Joseph Ocwet, the Director-General ESO said there is recruitment of Ugandans in refugee settlements to fight the South Sudan war. He also said that hundreds of South Sudan refugees are in possession of guns from South Sudan.
The External Security Organisation (ESO) has said that the influx of South
Sudan refugees is a serious national security threat to Uganda.
Joseph Ocwet, the Director-General ESO said there is recruitment of Ugandans in
refugee settlements to fight the South Sudan war. He also said that hundreds of
South Sudan refugees are in possession of guns.
Ocwet made the statements on Wednesday while appearing before the Parliamentary
committee on presidential affairs.
Ocwet told the committee chaired by Adjumani Woman MP Jessica Ababiku that the
massive refugee influx and the huge number of South Sudanese refugees is the
second major threat to Uganda after terrorism.
He says some refugees are armed with pistols and AK 47 guns, which in several
cases have been used in murder in settlements and in communities. He says
ESO is working this together with other security agencies to try and address the
situation. Ocwet says some people are already in custody.
He says to combat the threat, they are adding deployment in refugee
settlements and border posts. He hopes however that the threats should be neutralized
in less than a year due to the promising unity in the two worrying parties in
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According to Ocwet, the stability of South Sudan needs to happen so that Uganda
can reap economically but also be safe.
Jessica Ababiku says that there have been several cases of refugees in the
settlement gunned down by several refugees, and there have been other several
cases of insecurity in most refugee settlements.
She called on ESO to deploy more intelligence officers and ensure that Uganda remains
safe and stable.
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There are over 800,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Most of the refugees
fled since 2013 when fighting broke out between President Salvar Kiir and his
First Vice President Riek Machar.