Fear grips Magwi over ‘‘influx of Ugandan army’’

Fear grips Magwi over ‘‘influx of Ugandan army’’
Soldiers of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (File Photo)

Magwi County residents in Pogee Boma, Pajok Payam, are living in fear after spotting a contingent of heavily armed members of the Ugandan army in the area.

Tamazuj Radio quoted Robert Agany Okumu, an SPLM party lawmaker, confirming the presence of the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) but also expressing fears that their presence could lead to a decline in security in the area.

“The Ugandan government has now come as far as the area of Pogee, causing insecurity to the population.

“I do not know if the commissioner is aware of the current situation,” he said, adding: “We heard from the people on the ground that there is a big number of soldiers (UPDF) and they are clearing bushes.” So, we need the commissioner of Magwi to give us an update.”

Media reports indicate that the deployment of the army came after an armed group from South Sudan killed a Ugandan government official in Uganda’s Lamwo district.

“We have been aware of the Ugandan forces in Magwi. Several incidents happened in Lamwo District (Uganda) regarding cattle raiding, and the most recent one that made them (UPDF) deploy along the border,” he said.

“I think one of the Ugandan Local Council chairpersons was killed during a raid,’’ said Peter Lokeng Lotone, as quoted by Radio Tamazuj. He is the Eastern Equatoria State local government and law enforcement agencies minister.

The Spokesperson of the South Sudan Defence Forces, Maj Gen Lul Ruai, is yet to speak on the matter.