World Bulletin / News Desk
Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said Wednesday that his government was working to resolve a border dispute with South Sudan, which has led to incessant clashes between the two sides in the northern Moyo district.
"The government has already sent a message to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to resolve this issue," Mbabazi told parliament on Wednesday.
He said that a meeting will be held between Third Deputy Premier General Moses Ali and the governor of South Sudan's Central Equatorial State to discuss the issue.
The Prime Minister said that Ali would travel to Moyo in Uganda's West Nile region, which borders South Sudan, on September 20.
Tensions flared between Uganda and South Sudan in early September when the Kuku tribe in Moyo district's Abaya and Wano villages refused to be counted within Uganda's recently concluded population census.
The tribe insisted that it was part of South Sudan, leading to the arrest of local council official Vukoni Jimmy Okudi by South Sudanese forces.
Mbabazi said that security commanders from Uganda met with their South Sudanese counterparts on September 16 and agreed to refrain from all forms of violence and wait for the outcome of a joint verification committee.
"This meeting also resolved that the chasing away of foreigners from Moyo must be halted," Mbabazi said, going on to assert that no armed soldiers should be allowed into the disputed area.
The Ugandan Premier said that joint security patrols would be instituted with the aim of sealing off unrecognized entry points along the borders of both countries.
He also noted that joint weekly security meetings will be held to continuously review the security situation in the area.
"The situation has now returned to normal. Our security forces, police, the Uganda People's Defense Force, and intelligence continue to monitor the situation," Mbabazi said.
Demonstrations by Ugandans over the arrest of census enumerators in Moyo district resulted in the burning down of ten huts belonging to the Kuku tribe from South Sudan.
In retaliation, the tribe burned down seven huts belonging to Ugandans and shot a 22-year-old youth with bows and arrows.
The conflict further escalated on Monday when residents of Moyo district took to the streets to protest what they described as "endless harassment from South Sudan."
The border dispute between South Sudan and Uganda started before the former won its independence in 2011. The dispute became, however, more pronounced after independence, opening the door for growing clashes in the area.Last Mod: 18 Eylül 2014, 09:55