Members of Parliament want government to intervene in what they referred to as “an incursion” by the South Sudan army into Uganda.
Hon. Tom Aza Alero (NRM, West Moyo) said that over 100 armed men, suspected to be soldiers, crossed from South Sudan to Bari Village, Metu Sub County in Moyo district on 11 March 2018 and stole cattle, goats and sheep.
Aza told the House on Tuesday, 13 March 2018 that the attack resulted into deaths, displacement and closure of schools.
He said that as a result, the locals in Moyo and neighbouring districts are now living in fear.
Aza wants the government to open more bases of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and re-deploy the Anti-Stock Theft Unit police to support the army in securing the Uganda- South Sudan border.
“Government of Uganda should hold a security meeting involving all the relevant ministries, local leadership of Moyo and the government of South Sudan to put an end to these attacks,” said Aza.
He also urged government to either recover the stolen cattle, or compensate the residents.
Bernard Atiku (Ind., Ayivu) revealed that other districts bordering South Sudan have not been spared from such attacks.
He said that communities from Koboko, Arua, Zombo, Nebbi, Amuru and Kitgum are living in fear.
Atiku said that warring parties in South Sudan are crossing to Uganda with firearms and have displaced people in West Nile thereby affecting their livelihoods.
“The people along the border cannot go back to their farms because South Sudanese have settled there,” said Atiku.
He warned of a looming war between Uganda and South Sudan if the government does not treat the issue with urgency.
Hon. Olanya Gilbert (FDC, Kilak South) noted that the situation has been worsened by refugees from South Sudan who have refused to settle in designated camps.
“These refugees are creating their own camps. Government should take this very seriously and find ways of controlling the refugee influx into the country,” said Olanya.
Hon. Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM, Lwemiyaga) said that the situation in West Nile should be treated as a national issue because it involves two countries.
“If an armed group entered the country, stole property and killed people, it should raise concern from government and measures must be instituted to protect the people and their property,” said Ssekikubo.
The State Minister of Internal Affairs, Kania Obiga, confirmed that the attacks were carried out by armed men from South Sudan.
He said that Police and UPDF were deployed to follow up the attackers but discovered that they were heavily armed.
“Our forces withdrew and got reinforcement from Gulu. The area has now been secured and the attackers are being pursued,” said Obiga.