The suspects, all residents of Ikotos County in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatorial State were arrested by Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF soldiers on December 20, from Okuti parish in Orom Sub County
Security personnel in Kitgum District have
disclosed that arrangements have been finalised to hand over to South Sudan Authorities, the 13 armed South Sudan nationals who were arrested for illegal entry into Uganda.
The suspects, all residents of Ikotos
County in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatorial State were arrested by Uganda
People’s Defence Forces-UPDF soldiers on December 20, from Okuti
parish in Orom Sub County. 11 of them were
intercepted with five guns after returning into Orom sub-county to
rescue colleagues who were earlier arrested in a foiled cattle
theft in Lipan hunting ground in Kiteny sub-county.
They are currently in
detention awaiting their handover to South Sudan political and security officials,
according to Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech.
Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the suspects were initially supposed to
be handed back to South Sudan security personnel today [Monday] but a new
the development forced both authorities to push the event to next week.
//Cue in; “we are keeping…
Cue out…from Orom sub-county.”//
Komakech says the decision follows week-long discussions between Uganda and South Sudan security personnel aimed
at consolidating peaceful coexistence between the two countries and the locals. He adds that the five guns intercepted
from the suspects will equally be handed over after forensic firearm experts analysis
indicated that they do not belong to any Ugandan security organization.
//Cue in; “the people who…
Cue out…do’s and don’ts.”//
Brig William Bainomugisha, the Fifth
Infantry Division Commander, however, says some of the suspects who are directly
linked to owning the guns may be charged with illegal possession of firearms in
the country after careful consideration.
“...Those who are armed, the law
is very clear, there will be some court of law and others who are free, we
shall see how to hand them back to South Sudan. We yet don’t know those who
were armed but their numbers are few among the 13 suspects,” Brig Bainomugisha says.
He adds that the
current tight security along the borderline has given the UPDF an upper hand to
dismantle the racket of armed south Sudanese nationals who had been wreaking
havoc in Lamwo and Kitgum districts. He says that Ugandan forces are in talks with counterparts in South Sudan on a sustainable approach to peaceful co-existence along
the common international borderlines.
Kitgum and Lamwo districts, at the border with volatile South Sudan, have over the years experienced an influx of armed
men from South Sudan resulting in the theft of cattle, crops, injuries, and death
of local farmers.
Less than two weeks ago, armed men from neighbouring Equatoria
State inflicted injuries on a local farmer in Oryang village, Pobura
parish in Madi-Opei Sub-county before robbing him of his money and phone.