June 1, 2020

Three put out of action as UPDF exchanges fire with South Sudan’s SPLA


YUMBE- Uganda Peoples Defense Forces on Saturday 30th May killed three combatants of South Sudanese SPLA group in a fierce fire exchange in Yumbe district.

The south Sudanese soldiers who were many in number had crossed to Ugandan side of Fitina Mbaya in Goboro parish, Kochi Sub County of Yumbe district.

Local residents of Yumbe district were terrified of constant cases of looting by armed personnel whom they couldn’t adequately identify but suspected the SPLA to be responsible.

The looters, in military uniform and armed with guns used to sneak into to carry their demeanor and flee back without any security confrontation.

However, Yumbe Resident District Commissioner,Andama Richard, who confirmed the incidence to Red Pepper digital in an interview on phone, said on the fateful day, the SPLA soldier strayed to Uganda in civilian attire.

“They came with guns into Uganda. They have been coming to loot property but on Saturday, they were in civilian clothes” the RDC explained.

Yumbe Resident District Commissioner, Andama Richard talking to Red Pepper digital in Yumbe town. (File Photo)

According to the RDC, when the UPDF attempted to find out about the armed group, they were confronted with gunshots.

In an ensuing cross fire, two SPLA soldiers incidentally were shot dead on the spot while one got seriously injured and later succumbed to bullet wounds.

“The third victim died 300 metres from water source and the UPDF recovered five guns” Mr. Andama revealed.

Mr. Andama disclosed that the bodies of the deceased SPLA soldiers were handed over to one of their commanders who he only identified as Afande Kamilo at Aboch check point between Moyo district of Uganda and kaji-Keji county of South Sudan.

“It was hard for us to identify the soldiers, whether they were from the National Salvation Front of Gen. Cirilo, SPLA in Opposition of Riek Machar Teny or SPLA proper but their commander was able to help us. This was done later at the border after the gun exchange” the RDC explained.

RDC Andama disclosed that SPLA coordinator, one Duku Oliver called him to affirm that indeed the South Sudanese forces were on the wrong for crossing deep into Ugandan territory.

Yumbe RDC cautions the civil population against cross border movement, saying the SPLA might seek retaliation.

“We are cautioning both Ugandans and South Sudanese from moving closure to the border and past were the Uganda security is available. Some aggrieved SPLA can take take revenge of their dead comrades on any target they can get” the RDC warns.

Yumbe district has always been under threats of high influx of South Sudan against presidential directive that outlaws cross border movement.

But the civilians could not resist the porous border points to escape armed conflict back home in their country.

People Displaced by Conflict at Lainya, in Central Equatoria State of South Sudan. (Web photo)

Over 10,000 civilians fled their homes in Lainya County of Central Equatoria State to internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps, in dire need for humanitarian assistance.

The IDPs, mostly women, children and the elderly persons had fled Loka, Kenyi and Bereka villages into Lainya town following clashes between pro government soldiers and the National Salvation Front (NAS) forces.

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