The Spokesperson of the army has confirmed the killing of 4 South Sudanese officers by the Ugandan army following an exchange of gunfire at a village in Yumbe District.
Three SSPDF soldiers and an officer of the South Sudan National Police Service were among those pronounced dead on Monday.
Earlier, a Local Council Chairperson in Kochi Sub-county accused the SSPDF soldiers of encroaching into Maru village to loot and harras civilians.
Yusuf Taban said the soldiers took a power saw and 10 litres of oil from one of the residents.
The SSPF soldiers were also accused of asking villagers to vacate the area saying it belongs to South Sudan.
“Following the public outcry, the UPDF soldiers at Goboro detach went for patrol at Fitinambaya trading centre in Maru village on May 30 and that resulted into the clash,” Taban told the Ugandan Daily Monitor.
According to the UPDF, their soldiers returned fire, killing three South Sudanese soldiers on the spot at Fitina-mbaya trading centre in Maru village on Saturday.
“When UPDF heard of the incident, they intervened but unfortunately, the SSPDF soldiers started shooting at the UPDF soldiers as soon as they saw them. In retaliation, the UPDF also fired back, killing four of them” Richard Andama, the Yumbe Resident District Commissioner (RDC) told the Ugandan Daily Monitor.
One SSPF soldier, however, died after the bodies were handed over to South Sudanese authorities at the border.
Reacting to the story, the SSPDF spokesperson, Major General Lul Ruai Koang confirmed the incident, saying the soldiers involved were a “small force” of 5 servicemen patrolling the border areas.
“Four from SSPF and one from the National Police service were on foot patrolling along the border with Uganda to monitor the movement of people who are crossing illegally into the Republic of South Sudan and to enforce the directives on the prevention of coronavirus,” Maj. Gen. Lul told Eye Radio.
Lul claimed the area being referred to as Fitina-mbaya is a contested area called Buya, a part of Kajo-keji county in Central Equatoria state. “They had stopped at a place called Buya to drink some water and UPDF opened fire on them killing four on spot and wounded a fifth serviceman,” he said.
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