By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces [UPDF] has on Sunday 1st November dismissed claims by some sections of the media about distorted facts in the statement by the South Sudan army in regards to a recent clash between the two forces at the border.
There was a clash between the UPDF and South Sudan People’s Defence Forces on October,27 in Lamwo district in Northern but the South Sudan army spokesperson in a statement reported that the incident had happened inside the territory of the youngest nation on the continent.
However, in a statement released by the deputy UPDF spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiiki said the facts of the incident were distorted by their colleagues from South Sudan.
“On October, 27,2020 SSPDF troops of about a platoon(36) size established an illegal roadblock and an ambush at Ted-Nagwe in Pangira sub-county in Lamwo district several kilometers inside Ugandan territory over unknown reasons,”Akiiki said.
He noted that after getting information from locals about the presence of the South Sudan troops in the area, the UPDF went on a fact-finding mission and that while the UPDF commander tried to ascertain circumstances pertaining the incident, South Sudan troops surrounded and opened fire at UPDF soldiers.
According to the deputy army spokesperson, UPDF through retailatory fire subdued the enemy troops and that two South Sudan soldiers were killed whereas one was captured alive.
“The UPDF has noted with concern the statement attributed to the director of media and spokesperson of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces dated October,29,2020. The statement is completely false and deliberate misinformation of what actually happened,”Akiiki said.
The deputy army spokesperson however noted that the incident is regrettable and can be avoided through mutual condemnation and decisive action against the remnant errant elements who made the incursion onto Ugandan territory for their own selfish gains.
“It is within the means of the leadership of both the UPDF and SSDF to address and put this matter to rest. The armed incursions into Ugandan territory by South Sudanese armed elements present a challenge not to only the border communities but to the brotherly relationship between the two countries.”
Akiiki however noted that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence for both countries are working closely to address the matter.
Uganda and South Sudan have enjoyed stable relations since 2011 when the latter gained independence to become the youngest nation in Africa.
Uganda a few years ago sent troops to help restore peace in South Sudan after a war between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his first vice president, Riek Machar broke out in Juba.
President Museveni has also brokered a peace deal between Kiir and Machar to end hostilities in the youngest nation.
South Sudan has remained one of the biggest regional trading partners with Uganda.