This follows clashes between Uganda People Defense Forces-UPDF Soldiers and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces at Otwilo in Pangira Parish, near Ngomoromo border post. The UPDF shot dead two South Sudan People’s Defense Forces soldiers and captured one alive with three guns.
Ngomoromo Border point in Lokung Subcounty Lamwo District. Photo By Julius Ocungi
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Hundreds of farmers in Lokung sub-county in Lamwo district have failed to access their farmlands at
the contentious Uganda-South Sudan border point.
This follows clashes
between Uganda People Defense Forces-UPDF Soldiers and South Sudan People’s Defense
Forces at Otwilo in Pangira Parish, near Ngomoromo
border post. The UPDF shot dead two South Sudan People’s Defense
Forces soldiers and captured one alive with three guns.
Joachin Ocan Opoka, the Lokung Sub
county Chairperson says many farmers whose crops are due for harvesting
are currently unable to access their farmlands over the fear of instability at the
disputed boundary. Opoka says that the fertile farmlands
are in Oyoma, Aparapadwanya, Loremo and Otwilo largely on Ugandan territory.
However, some of the farmers have been hiring farmlands in Pogee, Magwi County on the South Sudan territory. Opoka says that crops such as Maize, sim-sim, millet and groundnuts are wasting away while others are reportedly being
looted by pockets of armed South Sudan elements loitering on the disputed
"Many farmers have expressed
fears of going to harvest their crops because they are uncertain about their
security while in the garden. We have also got reports that crops which are
ready for harvest are being looted by armed men from South Sudan," Opoka says.
Opoka fears that the situation could lead to food insecurity and added that normal
traffic flows along the once busy route have also subsided in the past few days
following last week’s clashes.
John Charles Omony, a farmer in
Loremo and resident of Lamwo Town council says his sim-sim is now ready for
harvest but expressed fear that he can’t cross Ngomoromo border to harvest it
for fear of being harassed. Omony has asked the army at the
border point to provide security for farmers to enable them to harvest their farm
produce without them getting wasted or looted.
Lamwo Resident District Commissioner James Nabinson
Kidega confirmed to Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Monday that many
farmers are no longer going to their gardens for fear of being attacked. He, however, says they are
considering providing security personnel to escort the farmers in groups to ensure
they easily access their farmlands if the situation proves hostile to them.
"Its true people are afraid, but things are under control. For the farmers, we are arranging with them such that if they are in deep fear over their safety, we shall escort them with security up to their gardens," says Kidega.
He notes that his office has already
contacted their counterparts in South Sudan to restrain any pockets of soldiers
within the disputed grounds from harming innocent farmers who intend to harvest
their crops. Kidega says security personnel
from the two countries are expected to hold a dialogue meeting next week.
In a press statement released on
Sunday, Lt Deo Akiiki, the UPDF Deputy Spokesperson says the ministries of
foreign affairs and Defence of the two sister countries are working closely to
address the anomaly at the border.
He also revealed that diplomatic
engagements by relevant stakeholders are ongoing to complete the re-demarcation
and reaffirmation of the common border to forestall future conflicts between
Uganda and South Sudan.
Bureau Chief, West Acholi