GULU – Brigadier General Bonny Bwamiseki Commander of 4th Division Infantry barracks in Gulu has on Friday afternoon handed over five South Sudanese nationals who were arrested with a gun in Amuru district.
The suspect includes Joseph Lagu, Peter Wani, Billiton Ambayo, James Anzo and James Koma was arrested by police from Atiak sugar plantation in Amuru District for crossing into the border with firearms.
They were arrested Thursday, June 13, in possession of one firearm SMG 56-17177706 loaded with 29 rounds of ammunition and one motorcycle.
The five are accused of threatening workers at the Horyal Sugar Factory, saying that that part of the factory belongs to South Sudan.
They were handed over to delegates from the Embassy of South Sudan in Uganda based in Gulu town from the army barrack. During the handover, Brig Bwamiseki says they held so many meeting with the delegates of South Sudan over the issue and reached a decision to release the suspects to promote cooperation and stability between the two countries.
“It is our role as young generations to promote unity and love because once we have love, peace and cooperation, the rest of the dispute like boundary will be sorted by the concerned authority” Brig Bwamiseki argues.
He added that UPDF is mandated to provide protection to over 10,000 south Sudanese is refugee settlement in Uganda and as people who hold responsivity, a sensitive issue which involves two countries should be discussed gradually by the two parties themselves without allowing others to antagonize the situation with political hatred.
In Uganda, the law on owning guns is the Firearms Act of 1970. It says that it is not lawful for any person, who is not working in government and authorized to carry a firearm.
Mr. Michael Maper, South Sudan Consul in Uganda based in Northern Uganda-Gulu applauded the decision reached at with the UPDF arguing such spirit strengthen the brotherly ties of belonging in the East African community and pan Africanism.
He says Ugandans living and doing various businesses in South Sudan also deserve to be treated fairly, to live in harmony like Ugandans treat South Sudanese residing in Uganda.
Mr Maper reiterated the issue of land disputes at the border saying the two countries shouldn’t disrupt peace and stability, He also appealed to the concerned authorities to handle the matter amicably.
“I think much as people from South Sudan are also claiming the same area, Ugandans are also claiming the same, let’s leave the issue of border conflict to authorities concerned. Our purpose is to receive our brother who were arrested and ensure we have peace because we also have Ugandans living within the jurisdiction of S. Sudan and we have to ensure they are treated well.” Mr Maper argued.
Mr. Maper was accompanied by Capt. James Majok and Santino Deng the liaison officer Gulu Consulate.
However, Brig Bwamiseki has appealed to the South Sudanese delegates to ensure the lives and well-being of Ugandans working and residing in their country are protected.
He says he has been receiving so many calls from Ugandans in South Sudan informing him of abuse and maltreatment by South Sudanese authorities which waters down the spirit of brotherhood.