The day-long meeting took place at the UPDF 4th Division Barracks in Gulu City West Division. The meeting was aimed at sharing challenges to foster strengthened border security mechanisms and adapting to peaceful working relations.
Top Uganda and South Sudan military commanders on Friday
convened a bilateral summit in Gulu City to plan measures of ending armed
violence along the borderlines between both countries.
The meeting took place at the UPDF 4th Division Barracks in Gulu City West
Division. The military chiefs shared sharing challenges at their defensive
territorial boundaries, security threats and devised ways to work peacefully.
It follows rampant armed aggression that has led the loss of lives
and other cross border crimes that have threatened peace and stability of
communities that live along the boundaries.
Last month, two South Sudan soldiers were shot dead and one
captured alive by UPDF in a heated gunfire exchange as
they defended an illegal roadblock they had erected on Ugandan territory, 1.5
kms from Ngomoromo Border Post in Lokung sub-county.
joint committee which was set up to investigate the attack faulted the South Sudanese
soldiers who encroached into Uganda soil through disputed Ngomoromo border to
carry out subversive activities.
Ngomoromo border area is a strategic business gateway into South
Sudan's Torit state.
But unresolved disputes on the international borderline
between Uganda and South Sudan have largely affected its development.
Gen. Johnson Juma Okot, the Chief of General Staff who led the South Sudanese
military delegation says their visit was aimed at owning the mistake and to exploit
better avenues to ensure continued security, peace and stability between the
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Gen. Okot applauded the Uganda government for the commitment to
host thousands of South Sudanese refugees who fled insecurity back home.
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Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, the UDPF’s Deputy Chief of Defense Force who
hosted the summit lauded SSDPF leadership for the commitment exhibited in
pursuit of a hospitable environment for continued mutual existence between
Uganda and Africa's youngest nation.
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Mbadi also reiterated Uganda’s unconditioned and continued support to offer
mentorship and strategic guidance to her neighbours in fulfillment of regional
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While South Sudan remains one of the leading regional trading
partners with Uganda, armed security personnel have often encroached into the
country’s sovereign territory to cause insecurity. For instance, in 2017 dozens
of then SPLA soldiers halted Acholibur-Musingo road construction claiming the
area belonged to them.
In 2016, Uganda-South Sudan established an 18-member committee backed by the
African Union - AU to undertake the demarcation of the international borderline
but the committee’s work has never yielded.