South Sudanese nationals plead with Ugandan security officials at Elegu border in Amuru District in March 2020. This followed the closure of the crossing point over Covid-19. PHOTO | TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY
By Denis Edema
A meeting hosting six members of the East African Community has concluded. Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda on Tuesday embarked on the three-day workshop in Jinja.
The workshop involved the police, immigration and prisons officials. The conference dubbed “Ushilikiano Imara 2020” or “Firm Corporation”, aimed at preparing armed forces of the member states to respond jointly to insecurity threats. The annual meeting was last year cancelled due to Covid-19.
Col Raphael Kiptoo from the EAC Secretariat said they would discuss the growing tension in the region, adding that a formal report would be shared at the end of their training.
Asked why there is continuous attacks by South Sudan on Ugandans, Col Kiptoo, declined to comment, saying he is not authorised.
“That question is directed to the Secretariat and it is what we are going to discuss and find solutions,” he said on Tuesday.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) delegationwas led by Brig Emmanuel Twinamatsiko.
The deputy UPDF Spokesperson, Lt Col Ronald Kakurungu, said the conference was also focusing on how best the EAC member states can work jointly in fighting piracy on water bodies, counter terrorism, disaster management and peace support within the region. Advertisement
Such joint regional peace efforts have been vital in restoring relative peace in Somalia and Central African Republic (CAR), among other countries.
In March, four Ugandan drivers were shot dead by unknown gunmen on Yei-Juba highway while heading to Juba for business.
The incident occurred between Ganji (Lanya County), 65kms to Juba and Kullipa, which is 58kms to Juba on Yei-Juba road in South Sudan.
Those confirmed dead were Stephen Amati, Dada Abugo, Ali Sonny and Sadam Noah.
The Koboko Resident District Commissioner, Mr Sazir Mayanja, said the drivers landed in an ambush.
In 2011, two Ugandan casual labourers were in June tortured by Sudanese soldiers over theft and in 2012, two Ugandan traders were shot dead by unknown assailants.
In 2009, an Eritrean driver and a Ugandan were hacked to death in Kaya in South Sudan.
In 2009, armed Sudanese gunmen raided more than 500 head of cattle twice in Adjumani District.
Culled from Daily Monitor.