Arua Bishop Condemns South Sudan, Moyo Border Arrests

2159 Views Moyo Town, Uganda

In short
The bishop describes the act as unfortunate and uncalled-for and implores the governments of Uganda and South Sudan to expedite the process of redefining boundaries between the two countries in order to end the longstanding border dispute.

Arua Diocese Bishop Rt. Rev. Sabino Odoki Ochan has condemned the manner in which Moyo district Chairman Jimmy Vukoni  was arrested and humiliated by South Sudanese forces.

Vukoni together with the Resident District Commissioner John Abingwa, and fifteen others were last week arrested by South Sudan military operatives at Abaya Wano village as they attempted to secure the release of census enumerators and an LC 3 chairman who had earlier on been captured.

The enumerators were arrested as they counted people in a disputed area along the border as the part of the ongoing national housing and population census by soldiers who claimed that the enumerators had crossed into their territory. The South Sudanese forces accused them of criminal trespass.

They were reportedly tortured by beating, chained and paraded at Mere police station about 34 kilometers across the border in South Sudan where they were detained.

The incident, which caused tension in Moyo, comes just a week after Uganda and South Sudan officials met in Kampala to lay out mechanisms of avoiding confrontation in the disputed border town.

The bishop describes the act as unfortunate and uncalled-for and implores the governments of Uganda and South Sudan to expedite the process of redefining boundaries between the two countries in order to end the longstanding border dispute.

//Cue; “top district leader…
Cue out; peace among ourselves”
 
General Moses Ali, the second deputy Prime Minister observed that the chairman and his team fell victim of circumstances but says the incident should now mount pressure on the government to ensure that the dispute is resolved.

//Cue in; Are those human beings…
Cue out…some are born here”//
 
The fifteen member team led by Jimmy Vukoni Okudi who suffered humiliation in the hands of the South Sudanese forces included Paul Maiku the district vice chairman, Martin Izaruku the district health secretary, Daniel Buni the LC III chairman Moyo Sub-County and his Sub-County chief Abdul Majid Nasur.

The Census officials included Bonne Mukasa, Moses Wandera, Andrew Anyovi, Atimaku Florence, Michael Viciri and Steven Anyaja.  The team also had four journalists on board.

The Commissioner Kajo-Keji County Henry Sabuni released the district chairman and his team and handed them over their deputy resident district commissioner Collins Obedi on Friday at about 01:00 pm after over two hours dialogue meeting in his office.

He warned Moyo district leaders against stepping in the disputed area again until the two heads of states resolve the border issue.