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Uganda releases 15 SSPDF soldiers after serving more than two months in their detentions

Jan 7, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — Ugandan authorities have released 15 south Sudanese soldiers who were accused of entering the country illegally over two months ago.

South Sudan Chief of Defense Force, Gen. Johnson Juma Okot, meeting UPDF Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi in Gulu on Friday, Nov 20th, 2020(Photo credit: PHOTO/ TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY)
South Sudan Chief of Defense Force, Gen. Johnson Juma Okot, meeting UPDF Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi in Gulu on Friday, Nov 20th, 2020(Photo credit: PHOTO/ TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY)

The South Sudanese people’s Defense Forces had been accused of entering Uganda through the border districts of Kitigum and Lamwo where they were immediately rounded up, and put under detention.

A meeting between officials of both sides was held in the town of Kitigum, after which the soldiers were released.

The district’s resident commissioner said that the SSPDF have been killing Ugandans and raiding their animals in the area.

“Our people are killed in cold blood by armed men from South Sudan,” William Komakech, Kitigum’s district resident commissioner, told reporters after the meeting. 

“Armed persons raid villages and take their cows. We held a meeting with officials from South Sudan to come up with a solution,’’ he added.

Defense commander Brig. William Baryomugisha said it is unfortunate that South Sudanese use arms to attack Ugandans. 

He said that South Sudanese civilians should be disarmed.

“There is a need for South Sudan to take away arms from civilians. Guns in the hands of wrong people is causing insecurity along the border of Uganda and South Sudan,” he said.

Representing South Sudan, Ozirom Odum, Equatoria’s deputy governor, said they are doing all that is possible to bring peace in the country. 

“We are working toward ensuring peace in the country and with our neighbors,’’ he said, adding that they believe in dialogue to resolve issues with neighbors.

He thanked Uganda for releasing the soldiers, and commended that they are in good health.

Clashes in disputed border areas between Uganda and South Sudan break out on and off.

South Sudan erupted into civil war after securing independence from Sudan in 2011. A peace accord between President Salva Kiir and former rebel leader Riek Machar was agreed in 2018. Its implementation, however, has been slow.

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