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 Sub-county in Kitgum district armed with five guns.
Security personnel in Kitgum have released 15 suspected armed South Sudanese bandits.
The suspects were arrested on separate occasions between October and December
last year by Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF soldiers over illegal entry
and possession of firearms along with the border districts of Lamwo and Kitgum.
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, Kitgum district armed with five guns.
After two months and two weeks in detention in Uganda, the suspects were handed
over to South Sudan authorities on Tuesday during a bilateral security meeting
between Uganda and South Sudan leaders at Orom sub-county headquarters.
Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech who led the Ugandan
delegation says the handover of the suspects is a good gesture towards
restoring trust and working relationship between Uganda and South Sudan.
Komakech says the handover exercise will also mark a milestone in ensuring that
the communities living along the common international borders peacefully
co-exist after several incidents of attacks.
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Komakech, however, called on his counterparts to liaise with Uganda in
strengthening security along with the common border.
The 5th Infantry Division commander Brig. William Bainomugisha says
the continued gun proliferation from South Sudan into Uganda is due to the
presence of guns in the hands of the locals.
Brig Bainomugisha says unlike Uganda that has made strides in disarming the
Karamojong cattle rustlers, the South Sudan Government hadn’t attained such
success and called for their renewed commitments to ensure the locals are
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Auxilio Odum, the Deputy Secretary-General of Eastern Equatorial State who led
South Sudan delegation lauded the release of their nationals
without any harm.
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He says South Sudan is currently focusing on peace building adding that the
leaders are continuously focused on dialogue to attain the goal with the neighbouring
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Odum has assured the Ugandan leaders and victims of the cross border insecurity
that the culprits will face the laws for their crimes.
Alphonse Muras, the area Member of Parliament for Constituency 22 in Eastern
Equatorial state blamed the influx of South Sudan armed into Uganda on the
armed conflicts in Africa’s youngest nation.
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The porous boundary between Ugandan and volatile South Sudan has over the years
seen an increased influx of armed men from South Sudan into the border
districts of Lamwo and Kitgum. This has resulted in increased cases of
livestock and crop theft by the gunmen.