Armed Men From South Sudan Claim Part of Amuru, Again

Armed men from South Sudan have again claimed part of Attiak Sub County in Amuru district.

Last week more than 15 heavily armed South Sudanese pitched camp at Abalokodi parish in Attiak Sub County along River Unyama claiming that the area is within their territory.

Agnes Linda Auma, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner (RDC) said on Wednesday that the armed men ordered several farmers cultivating in the area to vacate with immediate effect or risk being shot.

Auma says UPDF officers at the site who were guarding Attiak Sugar Factory alerted her, but she told them not to reiterate for fear of causing loss of live and injuries.

She disclosed that this has forced authorities in Amuru to halt the opening of sugarcane plantation in the area for fear of further attacks.

According to the RDC, there are reports that the armed men are still roaming the area—armed with AK 47 Guns, Sub Machine Guns and Rocket Propelled grenades (RPGs).

Michael Lakony, the Amuru district chairperson said that the armed men from South Sudan have for several years claimed ownership of about ten kilometers of land stretching along River Unyama bordering Nimule up to Okidi Parish.

Lakony said the armed element have often blocked farmers from cultivating in the area, threatening to shoot those who defy them. According to Lakony, the South Sudanese are claiming the areas of Bibia, Okidi and Abalokodi  in Attiak Sub County.

The Undersecretary for South Sudan In-charge of East African Affairs, Mou Mou Attian Kuol last year promised to engage security in his country to ensure that the conflict is addressed immediately.

In June this year, the Uganda People`s Defense Force (UPDF) patrolling Attiak Sugar Works arrested five South Sudanese from Raa Village in Okidi Parish in Attiak Sub county with a Sub Machine Gun-SMG registration number 56-17177706 loaded with 29 rounds of live ammunition

They were later released from detention at Forth Division Army Barracks in Gulu and repatriated to their country through their consulate in Uganda.