Breaking

Leaders Push for Expedited Uganda – South Sudan Border Demarcation

Geoffrey Osborn Oceng, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner says the protracted border impasse has resulted into insecurity, interrupted cross border economic c activities and displacement of communities.
05 Oct 2021 19:31
MPs on Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and some security offices walk back after being blocked by South Sudan at Aswa bridge in Elegu - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

Authorities have called for an expedited process to demarcate the Uganda – South border to mitigate aggression, promote co-existence and bilateral relations among the two neighbouring countries.

After seceding from Sudan on July 9, 2011, and later joining the East African Community in April 2016, South Sudan has been locking horns with neighbours, Uganda over Ngomoromo and Bibia borderlines in Lamwo and Amuru Districts respectively.

But Amuru Resident District Commissioner Geoffrey Osborn Oceng says that the protracted border impasse has resulted in insecurity, interrupted cross border economic activities and displacement of communities.

He made reference to events of last week when Ugandan government officials from the Ministry of Energy who visited Amuru to consult over the construction of a hydropower dam in the lower Aswa River were blocked by armed South Sudan military who claimed that the area belonged to their country.

//Cue in..."We are having…

Cue out… East African line.”//

On Thursday, a group of legislators on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, and the East African Community Affairs Committee were blocked by South Sudan police backed by the military from accessing Aswa bridge in Elegu, about 50 meters inside Uganda claiming the area is in their country.

Ismail Lomwar Muhammad, the Kotido Municipality MP and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee says Uganda has taken longer than necessary to right the wrongs being committed by South Sudan.

//Cue in..."East African Community…

Cue out… interest of partner states.”//

Jessica Namuddu, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of the African Union - AU led Joint Technical Committee (JTC) on Delimitation and Demarcation of the borders told URN that Government has revived its efforts to demarcate contested boundaries.

//Cue in..."On the issue of…

Cue out… of South Sudan.”//

Namuddu added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a supplementary budget to the Ministry of Finance, and once the money is available, they will conduct intense sensitization on the pending exercise.

The team Joint Technical Committee (JTC) on Delimitation and Demarcation of the Uganda-South Sudan international border was established in 2016, but the committee’s work was halted as a result of the war between the president, Salva Kiir and his then, Deputy Riek Machar.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 following a political dispute between Kiir and Machar splitting Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) before the conflict took an ethnic dimension.

The country has also had several confrontations with Uganda over ownership of some border areas in West Nile, specifically in Moyo District. The border between the two countries was first drawn by British imperialists, who colonized both Uganda and Sudan in 1914.