Last Updated on: 16th August 2023, 03:56 pm
Kampala I Persistent raids at the South Sudan border have irked Members of Parliament who have openly criticized Uganda People’s Defence Forces for failure to protect the lives and property of Ugandans living there.
The MPs’ concerns followed a statement presented to the House during a preliminary sitting on Tuesday, August 15 2023 by Gen. David Muhoozi, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs.
According to the statement, the UPDF has registered successes in recovering some heads of cattle from suspected South Sudanese raiders after incidences like the raid in Poburo village, Madi-Opei sub-county.
Now, Gen. Muhoozi says that the UPDF officers from Apirit detach recovered 17 heads of cattle and an additional 56 recovered by the Waligo detach in Kodomero village, Nyimur sub-county.
The same statement also revealed that on May 4, 2023, at Lagaya village in Waligo sub-county, suspected South Sudanese raiders burnt seven huts, raided four bulls and looted essential commodities.
Muhoozi’s revelation that there is insufficient deployment of the army and police officers at the border posts drew anger from some Members of Parliament.
Lamwo District Woman Member of Parliament, Nancy Acora expressed dismay at the endless diplomatic meetings that were being held with no action taken.
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“On the 10 July, we lost four people killed in their gardens in Lamwo.
We have had several meetings with Brig. Gen. Katungi and it has not yielded fruits,” she said.
Acora revealed that Lamwo residents are no longer happy with hosting South Sudanese as refugees since the conflicts cannot be solved.
“People are angry and they wanted to burn down the refugee settlement. It has taken great efforts by leaders to calm down the situation and the government needs to urgently compensate families that have lost lives, deploy massively and solve the border disputes of Ngom Oromo once and for all,” she added.
Meanwhile, Obongi County MP, George Bhoka Didi said that Obongi district experienced the same situation where South Sudanese threatened people. Didi requested the ministry to intensify local community defence mechanisms (LCDM) so that locals can defend themselves.
Guiding the August House, the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa pointed out that it was wrong to bundle all South Sudanese “as bad” and urged the House to remain calm, pledging that government will work to protect Ugandans.
Responding to the angry MPs, Gen. Muhoozi acknowledged the MPs’ concerns and committed to work proactively.
Muhoozi also emphasized that several diplomatic engagements and workshops have been organized between the Uganda security forces and South Sudanese leaders and that a memorandum of understanding between the RDCs of Lamwo and Kitgum and the commissioners of the counties of Magwi, Budi and lkwoto on the South Sudan side has been signed.
The aim of the MOU, he said is to tame the escalating situation at the border.