13 Abducted Ugandans Freed by South Sudanese Authorities in Land Conflict Dispute

Fred Enanga | The Black Examiner
Fred Enanga, Uganda Police Force Spokesperson. PHOTO/COURTESY

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | 13 Ugandans who were allegedly abducted by South Sudanese authorities in Koch sub-county, Yumbe district, have been released. This incident was seen as retaliation for the arrest of Ernesto Tumia, a South Sudanese Chief of Bori Boma, who was accused of fueling land conflicts in the region.

Ernesto Tumia, a 52-year-old South Sudanese Chief from Bori village in Kejikeji county, had been repeatedly entering Uganda with soldiers from the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF). He was accused of parceling out land in Uganda and allocating it to South Sudanese nationals. Tumia’s activities led to his arrest by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) on September 8, 2023.

In response to Tumia’s arrest, the South Sudanese Army and authorities retaliated by arresting 13 Ugandans. These individuals were held in custody until September 14, 2023, when they were handed over at AFOGI BORDER POST in Moyo district to Ugandan authorities. The handover was overseen by Yumbe’s LCV Chairperson, Hon. Aseku Abdul Mutalibu, DISO Yumbe, and others. In exchange for the Ugandans, Ernesto Tumia was handed over to Ugandan authorities through the Commandant of OPM Bididi refugee camp, Nabugere Joel Michael, in coordination with South Sudanese authorities.

The individuals who were released include Vuni Badru, Aliku Amiza, Alias, Boy, Saidi Lombe, Taban, Ezati Philliam, Ayiko Cosmas, Odama Sam, Diof Gaddafi, Reagan Ali. However, Kanda Innocent Samuel was still being held pending the handover of Ernest Tumia.

On September 13, 2023, both Ugandan and South Sudanese authorities conducted a joint meeting to emphasize peaceful coexistence and address the ongoing land conflict issue. Joint security agencies have implemented several measures to prevent further infiltrations and tensions in Koch sub-county, Yumbe district.

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