By Dramadri Fredrick
The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) handed over the five guns and ammunition to the south Sudan people’s defense forces (SSPDF) at Afogi border about ten kilometers from Moyo town on 17/6/2020.
It is understood that on 23/5/2020, unidentified armed officers crossed into Uganda and entered Fittina Mbaya village, Goboro Parish, Kochi Sub County in Yumbe district looted properties of the locals like animals and food staff worth millions of shillings that made the residents to raise an alarm to the security forces.
However, on 29/5/2020 the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) swung into action following the tip off by the local leaders. Subsequently on 30/5/2020 the Ugandan soldiers came in contact with the officers and exchanged fire leading to the death of three south Sudan soldiers.
The Resident District Commissioner Moyo district Bob Williams Labeja who represented the chief of defense Uganda in his remarks apologized for the actions of the unidentified ‘errant officers’
“On behalf of my seniors, I want you to take this that we did not intend to do this for the sake of doing it but we are all aware that on 30/5/2020 at around 1400HRS, UPDF soldiers on patrol in Fittina Mbaya village, Goboro Parish, Kochi Sub county in Yumbe district came in contact with armed men who were later identified as SSPDF personnel. As a result of their action 3 were killed in a gun fire exchange and 4SMG and 1PK were recovered with details as follows:- SMG No HP03442, SMG No 90-0431, SMG No MK1453, SMG No 09885, PK No NBn 222/988 with 170 rounds of live ammunition, 14full magazines and 15 rounds of loose ammunitions for SMG/AK47 assault Rifle. You remember we handed over three dead Bodies to your Government on 5/6/2020 at the same border”
Labeja further to appeals to the commanders in both countries to control their subordinates.
Receiving the weapons, the Paramount chief kajokeji county who doubles as the SPLM secretary Kajokeji county Lt Linus Kenyi Abdallah says the peaceful coexistence between the two countries must not be spoiled by such illegal actions.
“Between we people here and Uganda our things were reigning the same mother and father, most of the knowledge our people who are now registered as an army took education in Uganda, the all entrances were open to us friendly, the side of the eastern Nimule most people who stay at Atiak those people were the Sudanese, then the second entrance those who are in Yumbe were entering through Yumbe border and are staying freely, even from Kaya going to Koboko to Arua.
His Excellency commissioner am saying I have been working with the comrades in Uganda for 14 years during John Garang and Museveni up to 2007 and saying this must be the first and must be the last”.
The UPDF Commander 503 Brigade Lt Col David Apero calls for close monitoring of the fellow officers by their commanders.
“The purpose of our meeting is to deliver the equipment that were dropped to the rightful owners, my appeal is that we reconstruct our path and we don’t get back to the same mistake over and over and it is our duties as leaders to do that”.
Col. John Kamilo Kamilo for Kajokeji County who represented The Chief of Defense South Sudan says he is grateful for Ugandan government for the gesture after the incidence.
“Though it was a heart breaking moment, I called my officer not to come to Uganda to revenge, I really thank the RDC Moyo district for having given our dead bodies and weapons in a peaceful manner, that’s why my team quietly received the weapons, I don’t have much to say but the best report will come from those above me after their investigation and they will be the ones to come and iron the issue”.
Among the UPDF officers present were Lt Col Paul Sebugenyi, Maj Kennedy Rhongosi, Capt. Walter Olum, Lt Lauben Ndifula and their counterparts from South Sudan Capt. Moro Isaac, Lt Abraham Kuol -Chief for MI, Subek Lokidon Tete -Director NSS Pior Kwan Kon who received the weapons. End