UPDF, SPLA clash again in Lamwo


S.Sudanese SPLA soldiers are pictured in pageri Eastern Eqoutoria atate on AUGUST 20,2015

Ugandan army and South Sudan army are once again locked in confrontations in northern Uganda over land issues.

On Saturday, SPLA soldiers invaded Musingo border point in Madi-opei Sub-county in Lamwo district forcing a Chinese construction company, Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO) to halt construction works on Acholibur Musingo road.

Aswa Regional police spokesperson, Jimmy Patrick Okema, told journalists in Gulu town at the start of the week that over 300 SPLA soldiers were involved in the invasion.

Okema said Uganda police and UPDF soldiers were forced to intervene and restore calm.

Okema said although UPDF deployed heavily on the border and managed to end the impasse without any chaotic incidents.

President Yoweri Museveni commissioned Acholibur-Musingo road works as part of the Shs523bn Olwiyo-Gulu road projects early in the year.

However, the commissioner for Ikotos county in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatorial State, Peter Lokeng, accuses Uganda of invading his country and entering deep about seven kilometres into their territory.

According to the speaker of Eastern Equatorial Legislative Parliament, Alberion Tobiolo, SPLA soldiers rushed to the border point after concerned residents at Musingo reported heavy presence of UPDF soldiers.

He dismissed the report that SPLA invaded Uganda saying they only responded after residents alarmed at the sight of UPDF soldiers who were escorting contractors into South Sudan territory.

Earlier invasion

In August 2015, Ugandan forces took the border area of Phogee amid gunfire, displacing about 1,000 South Sudan civilians, according to County Commissioner, Ben Kingstone.

Residents said UPDF had entered and occupied territories more than 15 km inside South Sudan.

Uganda authorities said instead over 200 armed militias from Magwi county in South Sudan had entered nine kilometers into Ugandan territory at Lokung Sub-county in Lamwo claiming it belongs to them.

They were later flushed out by the UPDF soldiers leaving one of the militias dead.

South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Barnaba Marial, said a joint technical committee between the two countries has been collecting colonial maps about the borders to settle border disputes.

The African Union then gave Uganda money to demarcate all disputed border areas with her neighbours.

Hilary Onek, the Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees who is also the Lamwo County MP,  said the demarcation exercise was meant to enable government resolve border disputes with its neighbours; South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and DR Congo.


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