Ugandan MPs, Journalists Held in South Sudan

1862 Views Moyo Town, Uganda

In short
At least seven Ugandan members of parliament on the foreign affairs committee, several journalists and Moyo district officials were this morning held for four hours at gun point by South Sudanese authorities.

At least seven Ugandan members of parliament on the foreign affairs committee, several journalists and Moyo district officials were this morning held for four hours at gun point by Southern Sudanese authorities. They are Hood Katuramu, vice chairperson foreign affairs committee Hassan Fungaroo, Tom Aza,Hajib Katoda, Stanlous Omwonya, Atim Joy Ongom, Fred Mubanda, Helen Asamo and Jimmy Vukuni, Moyo LC V chairman.

 
Trouble for the Ugandan officials started this morning when they went to Bamurere in the disputed Lefori sub county to investigate the border conflict between the two countries. Lefori Sub County is controlled by the South Sudanese authorities since they invaded the place last year. The administrator posted by the South Sudan government to man the area asked the MPs to explain why they had gone there no sooner had their explained their mission than he ordered for their arrest.


Vukuni, Moyo LC V chairman, says that the Sudanese official he identifies as Julius Bonda accused them of illegally entering South Sudan. He says that Bonda argued if the Ugandan officials wanted to consult over the border conflict they should have informed their counterpart in Eastern Equatoria province instead of going there without permission. Vukuni their detention saying that they didn’t need permission since they were in Lefori sub county which belongs to Uganda.
 

Ronald Debo, a journalist based in Moyo says that Sudanese soldiers surrounded their motorcade immediately they arrived at Bumere. Debo explains that despite the fact that they were later released the Sudanese soldiers continued holing Anthony Anzira, an elder in the disputed area.  Julius Bonda, the southern Sudanese administrator confirmed ordering the detention of Ugandan officials saying that it was wrong for them to enter their territory without prior notification.

Bonda however says that all the people who were arrested including Anzira have been released pending further consultations over the matter. This is the first time Sudanese authorities have arrested Ugandan officials since the border conflict started two years ago.
 

 

About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.