Border Intrigue: UPDF’s Enigmatic Advance Into South Sudan Sparks Diplomatic Crisis
In a twist that has sent ripples through the heart of the South Sudan-Uganda borderlands, the Kajo-keji County Commissioner, Phanuel Dumo, revealed a startling development on Sunday. He reported that the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) had advanced deep into South Sudan territory, establishing new encampments as part of an ongoing border dispute.
Commissioner Dumo went on to highlight the abrupt cancellation of a pivotal meeting between border communities by the Ugandan government, effectively sealing the border’s closure. This sudden turn of events followed closely on the heels of the Central Equatoria government’s call for communities in Kajo-keji to relinquish control of the border issue to the national government.
While Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony expressed optimism about a diplomatic resolution in a recent security meeting, Dumo’s revelations cast doubt on these prospects. Locals in Bori were taken aback to witness the UPDF constructing barracks in Luwalei village, a region they insist is unquestionably South Sudanese territory.
Most significantly, this deployment has disrupted the free movement of communities across the open borders shared by the two nations. Commissioner Dumo emphasized the seemingly permanent nature of this UPDF presence, with the establishment of tents signaling their long-term intent.
He revealed, “This means they are in the state of readiness, and they have also announced that the border is closed, that exit is closed, nobody from camp will be allowed, and nobody will be allowed even to cross.”
Dumo and local authorities promptly alerted the state government, stressing the need for national intervention. He described the situation as volatile and called for the involvement of both the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and the UPDF to sit together and address this pressing issue.
This development echoes historical tensions over border crossings and resource disputes between Kajo-keji and neighboring Ugandan districts. It remains to be seen how this current standoff will evolve and whether diplomatic avenues can be revisited to defuse this precarious situation along the South Sudan-Uganda border.