Heavy gunfire as UPDF drives out S.Sudanese


UPDF soldiers testing weapons

There was heavy gunfire this afternoon at Ngom Oromo border point in Lokung Sub County in Lamwo District during an operation by the UPDF to evict dozens of South Sudanese nationals from the area.

The South Sudanese raided Ngom Oromo border inside Uganda three days ago claiming it was part of their territory and displaced hundreds of residents.

Mathew Ochen Akiya, the Lamwo District Chairperson told URN on Monday evening that the group was led by Martin Okello, the head chief of Pajok Payam, a Luo ethnic group in South Sudan.

They went ahead to erect a new border point at Limur, in Ngom Oromo Village, Licwar Parish, in Lokung Sub County, 14 Kilometers inside Uganda.

At the start of August, Lamwo residents tasked the authorities to beef up security against cattle rustlers from South Sudan after six cows were last week rustled in Okol Parish, Madi-Opei sub county.

Security personnel pursued the rustlers forcing them to abandon the cows but farmers are still worried that the thieves could strike again.

The Madi-Opei Sub-County chairperson,  Charles Obong Okwera, told Daily Monitor incidents of cattle theft have forced farmers to stop using oxen for ploughing.

The 5th Division infantry spokesperson, Capt. Telesphor Turyamumanya, said the army had taken full control of the border between Uganda and South Sudan, arguing that those stealing cattle are mere thieves not rustlers.

In October last year, suspected South Sudanese rustlers invaded Poyamo village in Madi-Opei and looted more than 20 cattle.

Reports from Lamwo District officials indicate that between 2009 and March 2015, a total of 400 cattle and 392 goats were rustled.

UPDF swiftly deployed in the area Tuesday morning to repulse the invasion.

Lt. George Musinguzi, UPDF 5th Division Spokesperson told Uganda Radio Network that they moved in to evict the South Sudanese after they neglected a peace message delivered by UPDF to vacate the area.

The army says the invaders were warned several times to leave Ugandan territory but to no avail prompting an armed attack.

After several hours of gunfire, the army managed to repulse the invaders and push them out of Lamwo back to South Sudan.

Kampala and Juba are reportedly discussing the matter and are yet to reach a peaceful agreement.


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