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UPDF set free five South Sudanese after arrest

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: June 23, 2019

South Sudanese officials speaking to the suspect at a UPDF barrack in Gulu on June, 21, 2019. PHOTO: David Okema/www.pmldaily.com

The Uganda army has released five South Sudanese who were arrested last week for entering Amuru district while armed.

The suspects were found with a gun and 29 rounds of ammunition, and one motorcycle —in an area called Horail sugar factory, within Atiak sugar plantation.

A joint operation conducted by the police and the UPDF found the accused threatening workers at the sugar factory, saying that -that part of the factory belongs to South Sudan.

They were kept at the UPDF barrack in Gulu where they faced 10 years prison time for entering illegally into Uganda while in possession of unlawful firearm.

Read related story: https://www.eyeradio.org/armed-s-sudanese-arrested-in-uganda/

But on Friday, the UPDF decided to free them and hand them over to the representatives of the Embassy of South Sudan based in Gulu town.

Joseph Lagu, Peter Wani, Briton Ambayo, James Anzo and James Koma were released following negotiations between South Sudan’s delegates and the Ugandan army officials.

According to the Commander of UPDF’s 4th Division Infantry barracks in Gulu, the suspects were released to sustain “the friendly cooperation and stability” that exists between Uganda and South Sudan.

“It is our role as theyoung generation to promote unity and love, because once we have love, [there is] peace and cooperation,” Brigadier General Bonny Bwamiseki said.

There are areas around Kajo-Keji, and parts of Magwi being claimed by the local communities neighboring each other.

Brig. Gen. Bwamiseki cautioned the local communities along the border not to antagonize the situation with political and tribal hatred.

“The dispute like boundary will be sorted by the concerned authority,” Brig. Gen. Bwamiseki said.

Michael Maper, a representative of the South Sudan embassy in Uganda said the local communities shouldn’t disrupt peace and stability over boundary issues.

He applauded the Ugandan authorities to setting free the suspects without charges.

“Our purpose is to…ensure we have peace,” Maper said.

According to the PML- Daily website, the Ugandan officials also argued South Sudan to provide similar protection and leniency to Ugandan national living in South Sudan.

“I receive many calls from Ugandans in South Sudan informing me of abuse and maltreatment by South Sudanese authorities which waters down the spirit of brotherhood,” Brig. Gen. Bwamiseki said.

South Sudan and Uganda continue to maintain a good bilateral relations in areas of politics, military and the economy.

South Sudan remains the biggest market for Ugandan goods, and allows Ugandan nationals to work and conduct business without restrictions.

Meanwhile, Uganda hosts one of the largest South Sudanese refugee settlement.

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