By Eye Radio
The Ugandan army says they have handed over the body of two South Sudanese soldiers who were killed in a clash at a contested border town in Eastern Equatoria days ago.
On Tuesday, SSPDF confirmed that, two of its soldiers were killed and another captured by Ugandan soldiers at their defensive border post at Pogee in Magwi County.
According to the SSPDF spokesperson the officers were killed while investigating a suspicious activity by the Ugandan army there, an allegation UPDF denied, claiming it was the South Sudanese that erected a checkpoint inside Ugandan territory.
However, the UPDF deputy spokesperson, Lieutenant Deyo Akiki, says they have handed over the bodies of the two soldiers killed.
He stated that a SSPDF soldier and three riffles they captured during the confrontation have been handed over to South Sudan authorities.
“The dead bodies have been handed over back; the weapon ceased by our forces and the person who was captured have also been handed to South Sudanese authority,” Lt. Akiki told Eye Radio via phone from Kampala.
For his part, SSPDF spokesperson Maj.-Gen. Lul Ruai confirmed the receipt of the bodies of the soldiers.
“I can confirm to you that the remains of our fallen comrades were handed over to us this evening [Thursday] along with our officers who had been taken as prisoners of war plus the three riffles that were taken,” Maj.-Gen. Ruai said.
However, Maj.-Gen. Lul declined to mention the names of the fallen soldiers, arguing that the SSPDF has not yet informed their relatives.
Lt. Akiki added that the two countries have “diplomatically and militarily successfully addressed the problem” – a development Juba is yet to confirm.
“We shall continue to work together to ensure that there is harmony a long our borders and such clashes do not be divert us from the bigger picture of the security of our borders, our cooperation militarily and at the government level and the Pan-African focus on our trade,” he added.
But this is the second time this year Ugandan soldiers attacked and killed South Sudanese counterparts.
In June 2020, a similar incident occurred around Fitina-mbaya – also called Buya, a contested part of Kajo-keji County, Central Equatoria State.
Four SSPDF soldiers and one National Police Service officer were shot and killed by the UPDF in the attack.