By Metedio Iceta.
Moyo: At least 400 people were displaced and more than 50 houses were equally burnt in an attack that emerged between Ugandans and South Sudanese youth over border dispute in Lefori Sub County Moyo District on Sunday night.
Mr William Anyama, the Moyo District LCV Chairperson told daily monitor that the incidents occurred in Gweri north Village, Lefori Sub County in Moyo district where Ugandans were attacked by south Sudanese youth who forced them to flee where they took refuge at Gweri UPDF ditch.
“It was on Monday the security made efforts to bring claim but again the situation worsens when the same group of youth made more arrests including two security officers one staff of government of Uganda only identified as Lambert and another one identified as Major Oliver Duku, the Community liaison officer of South Sudan People Liberation Army (SSPLA) based in Moyo district. “Their own was also arrested and tortured after taking them to their detention in South Sudan. All this happened on Monday and to make the situation worst on the same day houses were burnt and today (Tuesday) over 50 grass torched houses were burnt and in retaliation Ugandans also burnt 20 grass torched houses belong to South Sudanese residents who are in Lefori Sub County”
“The situation is bad at the moment as I speak of over four hundred people who are displaced; they have nothing to eat because they are running away from the hostilities and they have not carried most of their basic needs including food. Today (Tuesday) we had joint security meeting we are appealing to the government of Uganda especially office of the Prime minister to come to the rescue of this people”
Mr Anyama said: “Beyond this handout relief, we really seek the government of Uganda to engage their Counterpart (South Sudan) to find a permanent solution to this problem. We have suffered from this border dispute for a long period of time without finding durable solution and the government of Uganda need to take responsibility because the issues of saying South Sudan government is unstable should not arise by now weather the government is not stable there is government already in place that government of Uganda can work with and with support from Africa Union the border verification can be done the Ugandan government knows where the border lies”
Mr Anyama noted that in the constitution of Uganda border lines are drawn which need affirmative action to conduct verification by the two countries. “Our government can do so with the support of the African Union because if we do not do this the people in this part of the Country (Uganda) would continue to be poor. Most of our viable farming areas are towards the border and this is where there is vast last for agricultural production and this fights arise because of competition over land; the pressure on land increasing associated with population growth means the government talks about commercial farming but without peace this talks becomes meaningless”, Mr Anyama said.
Mr Goffin Gore, the Moyo Resident District Commissioner confirmed that the attack led to retaliation attacks by the Ugandans.
“As we talk right now there has been a lot of destruction of property particularly houses were burnt; property looted and we have a number of Ugandans for safety purposes we host them at Gwere Military barracks for their safety. The situation is still worse over nine Ugandans were captured by the South Sudanese youth taken to Kajo-Keji County, South Sudan but we worked with the leadership security in the area to recover those Ugandans and we have received them at Afoji border post all of them are safe because life has not been lost as far as incident is concerned”
“Over 400 displaced people are registered at Gwere Military barracks and we are yet to ascertain the records of those people and also where they come from. It seems they are people who came to live with us in Lefori Sub County. There are threats of retaliation attacks but security is in control and right now UPDF has taken control of the areas along the border together with South Sudan People liberation Army patrolling from their sides and this is the disputed area where both communities calming the ownership”
Mr Gore added: “I want to ask for the claim that the president of Uganda has directed us to maintain the status core until such time as we are able to demarcate our borders. There have been calms of animals getting lost on both sides (cows and goats) south Sudanese calm so and Ugandans do calm so we are yet to verify but as of this evening we have received reports of a Ugandan whose animals are missing and the security is still tracking the where about so that we recover them because we are good collaboration with SSPDF”
“This incident is not caused by the South Sudan army, it is by the youth because of that we are in good relationship as security team from both sides. We have also agreed to have bilateral meeting between the Ugandan leadership and that of South Sudan and we are going to have that meeting in order to short out some of the issues for now the situation is still bad”.