UGANDA: SOUTH SUDANESE NATIONALS CAPTURED AT THE POROUS BORDER WITH A GUN AND A MOTORCYCLE HANDED OVER TO THEIR CONSULATE

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Brig. Bamweseki handing over the captured South Sudanese to Mr. Mager

“Let us look at ourselves as one people although we may belong to different countries. The colonialists did mistake in dividing us. We are all Africans. Unless we go with Global Positioning System (GPS), we may never be able to determine the actual border line. It is our policy to promote unity of Africans. Our leaders have done their best to unite us. We must promote the spirit of East Africanism and Pan Africanism”.

“Interactions are very good. We need unconditional corporation. Our aim is to keep the border safe. We did not decide on the border”

GULU-UGANDA:  The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has handed over five South Sudanese nationals who were captured on Thursday, June 13, 2019 from a sugar factory in Amuru district, which is close to the porous common border with an SMG gun which contains 29 rounds of ammunition and a numberless motorcycle, to the Consulate of South Sudan based in Gulu.

The low key ceremony to hand over the five South Sudanese nationals to the three South Sudanese delegation, who were led by their Consulate, Mr. Michael Maper, was presided over by the UPDF’s Fourth Infantry Division Commander, Brigadier Bonny Bamweseki held at his office on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Others in the South Sudanese delegation included the Liaison Officer, Mr. Santino Deng Ateng and Capt. James Majok. Several UPDF officers also attended the ceremony.

“The purpose of our gathering this afternoon is to hand over some of our brothers from South Sudan arrested with arms when they crossed into Uganda unknowingly to their leaders. We discovered them in our country illegally unknowingly”, says Brig. Bamweseki.

The five are members of the same family of Mr. Ladu Joseph (41) from Nimule Town Council in Pageri County. Others members includes Mr. Koma James (23), Mr. Wani Peter (21), Mr. Ambayo Billiton and a fourteen year-old boy, Anzo James.

Mr. Ladu told journalist before they were handed over to South Sudanese Consulate that the gun and motorcycle are family assets and that they thought they were still within South Sudan borders when they were arrested at Attiak Sugar factory sugar-cane plantation by UPDF soldiers keeping security at the factory.

This is not the first incident where illegal guns from South Sudan get their way into Uganda, considering the porous border line, which stress for hundreds of kilometers which has few gazette border posts.

Lamwo district, which shares common border with South Sudan, has recovered over nine illegal guns from South Sudan since the beginning of 2019 alone, and the district has lost a number of herds of cattle to armed cattle thieves from South Sudan. Only very few herds of cattle have been recovered and handed over to their owners whenever officials from Uganda follow up such cases with authorities of South Sudan.

Brig. Bwamiseki says the colonialists made a mistake at the time they were demarcating colonial borders between countries in Africa because they divided one ethnic group and put them in different countries thereby making movements difficult to members of the same family who find themselves in different countries. He gave the example of former Kenyan Vice President Moody Awori who has a brother in Uganda who was in President Yoweri Museveni’s cabinet, called Aggrey Awori.

“Let us look at ourselves as one people although we may belong to different countries. The colonialists did mistake in dividing us. We are all Africans. Unless we go with Global Positioning System (GPS), we may never be able to determine the actual border line. It is our policy to promote unity of Africans. Our leaders have done their best to unite us. We must promote the spirit of East Africanism and Pan Africanism”, says the army General.

He says the leaders of Uganda and of South Sudan enjoy good working relationship and their citizens must live in peace as brothers and sisters of the same family. He thanked the Consulate for always coming to discuss security issues with him whenever such issue arises.

“We don’t blame the system for individual weaknesses. You are always welcome. Let us always meet to discuss such issue. We don’t have to send it to Kampala or Juba. Our work is to make sure there is peace within our border areas. Our concern was the gun. Maybe their gun will turn against the Division Commander. They are my brothers found in Uganda land. They don’t know where Uganda starts”, he told the Consulate.

Mr. Mager thanked the Division Commander for deciding to hand over to him the five arrested with a gun inside Uganda to him instead of subjecting them to Ugandan laws. He appealed to local leaders living along the common border to leave the issue of border line to higher authorities. He thanked the Brigadier for initiating the interaction.

“Interactions are very good. We need unconditional corporation. Our aim is to keep the border safe. We did not decide on the border” says the Consulate.

 

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