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Uganda, South Sudan army chiefs meet over recent clash at the border

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Chiefs from the UPDF and South Sudanese Defence Forces have met and discussed the recent clash at a disputed border area in Ngomoromo, Lokung Sub-county in Lamwo District.

Both forces clashed last month and two South Sudan soldiers were killed whereas one was captured alive by the Ugandan forces. On Saturday, the Deputy Chief of Defense Forces in the UPDF, Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi led Uganda’s delegation that held talks with their counterparts from South Sudan led by their Chief of General Staff, General Johnson Juma Okot.

According to the deputy UPDF spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiiki, both army chiefs reiterated their countries’ commitment to fostering peace, security, and stability in the region as they advance common values of patriotism, Pan-Africanism, and regional cooperation.

Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi emphasized that the two sister forces will continue working together to strengthen peace, security, and stability for the good of their people and the region.

He reiterated that no situation should undermine the relationship between the two countries and therefore, commended the ongoing efforts to identify security gaps that endanger the lives of the people along the common border.

“Nothing should undermine our historical ties. We will ensure that we dispel any contradictions which may undermine our longstanding good relationship,” Lt Gen Mbadi said during a meeting held at the UPDF fourth division headquarters in Gulu.

Gen. Johnson Juma Okot, who chaired the meeting, applauded Uganda for its hospitality to South Sudanese who consider Uganda as their second home. He specifically commended Uganda for opening its borders to South Sudanese refugees.

He said the two countries have strong historical ties that dated back to their common fight for freedom also present at the meeting were the Commander Land Forces of the UPDF, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, SSPDF’s Chief of Military Intelligence, Lt Gen Rieny Tuony Manor, and other senior UPDF and SSPDF commanders. The contentious land border point at Ngomoromo has been a center of activity for both armies.

The UPDF last month said on October,27, South Sudanese troops of about a platoon(36) size established an illegal roadblock and an ambush at Ted-Nagwe in Pangira sub-county in Lamwo district several kilometers inside Ugandan territory prompting locals to report to the Ugandan army.

However, when the UPDF sent a team on a fact-finding mission and as the UPDF commander tried to ascertain circumstances pertaining to the incident, South Sudan troops surrounded and opened fire at UPDF soldiers prompting retaliatory fire from the Ugandan soldiers that subdued the enemy, killing two soldiers and one was captured alive.

The deputy army spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiki, however, noted that the incident was regrettable and can be avoided through mutual condemnation and decisive action against the remnant errant elements who made the incursion onto Ugandan territory for their own selfish gains.

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