25th November 2020
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Uganda army kills 2 S. Sudanese soldiers at contested border

Authors: Okot Emmanuel | Garang Abraham | Published: Thursday, October 29, 2020

SSPDF soldiers stand in a parade near Juba, South Sudan | Credit | Eye Radio

The Uganda People Defense forces have killed two SSPDF soldiers at a contested part of Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria State, the army spokesperson has said.

Major General Lul Ruai said the incident happened on Tuesday afternoon in Magwi County.

He stated that the officers were killed while investigating a suspicious activity by the UPDF around Pogee village.

“I can confirm to you that there was an incursion into our territory yesterday [Tuesday] at around 1 pm. A mechanized unit for Uganda People Defense Forces entered our territory at Pegee,” Gen Lul stated.

“Pogee is a small village at the border with the Republic of Uganda. We have our armed force that was established to keep an eye on our border.”

“The personnel deployed at the post saw unusual movements, going to check out what was happening, a military personal was fired at, and a small force went to rescue their colleague and as a result, they found themselves in a deliberate ambush which led to the killing of two SSPDF soldiers.”

Gen. Lul said that the SSPDF will not tell the identity of the soldiers killed before their relatives are informed about the demise of their loved ones.

For his part, Oyet Nataniel Perino, a politician from Magwi County urged the national government to address the incursion of Uganda into South Sudan territory.

“This should draw the attention of the central government and the state government. The central government should take this up since it is an international contentious,” Oyet stressed.

“The boundary of South Sudan is very clear, it is a boundary of 1956 which is in the constitution of the then Sudan that was summited to the UN General Assembly when Sudan was given independence.”

“Uganda got independence in 1962 way back after the Sudan independence. There should not be any dispute over the boundary, the boundary is very clear when the countries got their independence.”

Why is UPDF in Magwi County

Achire Dickson, a youth leader from the area told Eye Radio on Wednesday that Uganda’s intention is to explore resources inside South Sudan.

“What we know is that the UPDF and Uganda citizen want to push us out so that they can be cutting timbers and that is exactly what they are doing,” Achire said.

“They (UPDF) want to push our soldier out so that they carry on with cutting timbers, it has always been happening.

“Now as I talk, they (Uganda) launched a big sugar plantation in the territory of South Sudan, there is a gold mining by the Ugandan soldiers, with the issue of Corona it is a chance for them.”

Oyet Nataniel Pierino, who hails from the area also told Eye Radio that the Uganda government has been carrying illegal activities inside South Sudan.

“They (Uganda) have been having economic activities such as mining and farming. They (Uganda) launched two weeks ago a very huge farming project in Adodi area of Pajok,” he said.

Where is Pogee located in Eastern Equatoria state

Pogee is part of Pajok Payam in Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State, this is according to Oyet who hails from Magwi County.

“It should be noted that all this time we have dispute along the border. The Ugandan citizens and government encroach into the territory of South Sudan in Pogai where they are claiming a significant part,” Mr. Oyet said.

“Actually, Pogee is part of Pajok Payam which is part of Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria. They (Uganda) claim a significant part of Magwi County in that area, so in Nyomoromo and in that area of Loboni.”

“They (Uganda) are now patrolling the area, they have deployed in the area and they are intimidating civilians who are farming in the area and this is the background of the problem in Pogai it is a deeply rooted claim of the area of Magwi County,” Mr. Oyet concluded.

This is not the first time Uganda has incursion into South Sudanese territory.

In June, a similar incident occurred around Fitina-Mbaya – also called Buya, a contested part of Kajo-Keji County in Central Equatoria state.

Four SSPDF soldiers and one National Police Service officer were shot and killed by the UPDF.

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