PANIC-as foreign troops encroaches borders

By Bullen Bala Alexander

South Sudanese leaving along Kenyan and Ugandan borders have expressed fear over a number of foreign troops reportedly encroaching along the country’s territories as delegates from Kapoeta and Kajo-Keji report in the National Dialogue conference.

This was revealed during the discussion centred on the border issues at the National Conference at the Freedom Hall in Juba.

According to the delegates, most of Eastern Bank of South Sudan have been encroached by both Kenyan and Ugandan troops without much attention.

“Those place includes Nadapal, Lafom, Newsite, Narusu and other many places have been over taken by foreign troops,” Mr. Joseph L. a delegates from Kapoeta East County said.

He revealed that there is constant and heavy deployment of military forces opening the security roads in those places they have encroached with unstoppable and frequently Kenyan military airplanes moving and touring as if they are the rightful owners of the area, and no one seems to know about it.

According to the delegates, most of the places encroached by the those foreign troops were the areas that the gold and oil have been discovered and they are doing everything at their own because no one seems to check on what they are doing.

He further called on government to put high attention to bring this to an end, adding that you cannot claim that you are assisting someone as at the other hand you are throwing in his land.

“As we speak now, the Tobasa people who were chased from their land before by the Kenyan military have decided to go back to where they were chased and they are ready to defend themselves in the area.

Meanwhile, a Member of Parliament representing Kajokeji James Janka Duku described situation as worrying and much attention needed to cool the situation on the ground.

“The encroachment by the neighboring Uganda and Kenya is really worrying and it will develop into big crisis if high attention is not paid to, as we speak now Uganda as reached as far as where people from Kajo-Keji have been doing commercial farming and they claimed to be theirs,” Mr. Duku said.

He said two months ago, Ugandan Military forces launched surprise attack on South Sudan soldiers and killing four in South Sudan territory, and followed by the recent incident in the place called Pageei behind place called Momorom where two of our soldiers were killed by Uganda army forces.

He said all those places are original South Sudan territory and during the war they launched battles against Sudan in a place called Gobor now being claimed by Uganda.

“We strongly recommended to this national dialogue, that serious attention must be a coded to border of Uganda and Kenya this is really security threat in Eastern bank of South Sudan.”

However, the SPLM Acting Secretary General Jemma Nunu Kumba said it is possible to settle those border issues with neighboring countries if South Sudanese are united and settle their own internal problems.

“These problems arises when we are busy fighting ourselves, but I believe now we have the peace in place those problems of border issues are going to be solved through diplomatic engagement,” Nunu said.   

For his part, Angelo Beda the co-chair of national dialogue called on the South Sudan government to considered and put the border issues as urgent issue.

“The most burning issue now is encroaching by Ugandan and Kenyan military force into South Sudan territory, we urgently call on the South Sudan government to engage in diplomatic effort with the two sisterly countries in order to bring the tension into the end and see immediate withdrawal of those forces from South Sudan territories,” Co-Chair Beda said.

He said it is possible for South Sudan reach at good understanding on board issues with those countries especially Kenya and Uganda.  

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