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Five Ugandans Released by South Sudan Captors in Kitgum

The ex-captives have been identified as, Charles Nyeko, Betty Achiro, Amos Odera, Omal Denis and one person only identified as Aketo. They are all residents of Orom East and Kiteny in the Kitgum district.

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Five people who were abducted by armed suspected South Sudan fighters in the Kabongun wilderness at the South Sudan border on Wednesday have been released.

Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech said the abductees regained their freedom on Thursday after a joint security force responded to a distress call and pursued the captors. The ex-captives have been identified as, Charles Nyeko, Betty Achiro, Amos Odera, Omal Denis and one person only identified as Aketo. They are all residents of Orom East and Kiteny in Kitgum district.  

According to Komakech, the cross-border attack led to the loss of two lives and left eight other residents with injuries.  The attackers also looted unspecified quantities of foodstuff, household properties, nine cattle and several ox ploughs. 

//Cue in; “joni obin…

Cue out…mino gi protection.”//

According to Komakech, the attackers rounded up the farmers and battered them, killing one woman instantly while a man, only identified as David was rushed to Namukora Health Centre IV but later died while being referred to Kitgum General Hospital.

Orom East Sub County councillor Patrick Kilama says the victims who were reportedly attending to their farms in preparation for the farming season were attacked by a group of 12 men armed with rifles, machetes, and bows and arrows. They were undressed and reportedly beaten using rifle butts before they were whisked away. 

He explains that the ex-captives who looked frail and had deep wounds upon their release are since receiving treatment at Akillok Health Centre II. Medics have however said that they are now out of danger.

//Cue in; “mok dong tye…

Cue out…en maber.”//

Kiteny Sub County Councilor Ronald Komakech is now appealing to security to urgently intervene and protect farmers from Orom East and Kiteny Sub Counties from the continuous attacks and looting operations by the suspected South Sudanese and Karimajong warriors. He says the captors could have taken advantage of the lack of security forces along the border to swiftly make an incursion into Uganda’s hinterland and rounded innocent civilians.

According to Komakech, the army had initially established military detachments in the areas of Loki, Wanglango, Abunai and Kabongun but some of the facilities were disbanded due to political sentiments that the army was planning to grab people's land.

//Cue in “pol kare…

Cue out: ……konyo lwak.”//

RDC William Komakech partly faults the farming communities of Orom, Kiteny, Orom East and Namukora for being hesitant to seek permission or notifying the army that should provide them security while they are attending to their farms.

According to Komakech, farmers were initially for security escorts or deployment to allow them to concentrate on their farming activities.  Komakech however says they are liaising with his counterparts in South Sudan to ensure cross-border attacks are minimized and that the attackers are brought to book.