Uganda: UPDF Kill Four South Sudan Soldiers in Yumbe District

Four soldiers with the South Sudan People's Defence Forces (SSPDF) were on Sunday shot dead by UPDF soldiers following a clash at Maru village in Yumbe District.

According to Mr Yusuf Taban, the LC1 chairman of Maru, the armed South Sudanese soldiers had been harassing locals from May 20 to May 30 when the UPDF got involved.

He said the South Sudanese soldiers looted people's houses, took animals and forced people to give them money as well as threatening to attack them if they did not leave the area.

He added: "Following a public outcry, the UPDF soldiers at Goboro detach Parish in Yumbe District launched an operation at Fitinambaya trading centre in Maru village on May 30 that ended with the killing of the four soldiers during an exchange of gunfire."

He explained that there were South Sudanese soldiers established at Goboro detach near Fitinambaya trading centre on South Sudan side, making it easier for them to cross over and attack people.

Mr Richard Andama, the Yumbe Resident District Commissioner (RDC), told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday that the SSPDF soldiers dressed in civilian attire to disguise themselves as locals.

He explained that looting of people's property is common along the Uganda-South Sudan border.

"When UPDF heard of the incident, they intervened. When the SSPDF soldiers saw them, they started firing bullets at the UPDF soldiers. In a revenge attack, the UPDF also started firing bullets at them," he said.

The UPDF recovered five guns; (one machine gun and four AK47 riffles.

Mr Andama said the three dead bodies were handed over to the their counterparts in South Sudan at Afoji border.

Mr Leuben Ndifula, the UPDF public relations officer for West Nile, said Ugandans were harrased by some groups of armed people from South Sudan especially in the areas of Goboro.

"After the incident, we tried to cross check with our counterparts in South Sudan, then, we came to realise that the group belonged to SSPDF," he said.

Mr Ndifula added that the soldiers entered one-and-a-half kilometres into Uganda and their aim was just to disturb people at the border.

On Monday morning, while leading a team to pick the bodies, the Sector Commander for Kajo-Keji in South Sudan, Mr John Kamilo, said they were going to explain the matter to government authorities in South Sudan.

"We admit that it was a mistake from our side and we assure the people that the situation at the border is normal," he said.

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