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Magwi leaders express disappointment over a failed cross-border peace dialogue

Author : Ray Okech | Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Elders seated under a tree in Pajok, Magwi.

Authorities in Eastern Equatoria State have expressed disappointment over the failure of a Ugandan delegation to attend a peace dialogue.

Last week, members of the Ugandan community were supposed to meet with their South Sudan counterparts to discuss land disputes.

However, the Resident District commissioner of Lamwoo District did not attend.

Over the years, Magwi County has been at loggerheads with its neighboring Ugandan Lamwoo District over land.

Magwi county leaders say Ugandans have encroached on to their land by 17 kilometers from the international border.

“We had arranged for exchange visit and cross-border dialogue but when the issue of the cows, grading of roads and burning of tukuls came in, we made an emergency call to state government to intervene – to witness what is taking place on the ground,” Magwi County Commissioner Francis Okech told Eye Radio.

“But with dismay, my counterpart RDC failed to come and that one already has shown disregard to what I am trying to push for, diplomacy.”

Uganda First secretary at the embassy in Juba Tumwesigye Sirapiyo said his country and South Sudan will hold a joint permanent commission meeting in Juba on the 11th of next month.

Eye radio also spoke to farmers in Magwi, who said they were living in fear.

“They are putting tents inside our territory, they are cultivating in large quantity,” said a farmer.

“The influx of Ugandan civilians is really a threat to our community and it is really affecting agriculture and we know Magwi County is situated within the greenbelt,” said another farmer.

“We’re being threatened here on our own land not to cultivate.

“They are grazing cattle on our gardens, causing panic to our people here in Pogee.

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