The matter was raised by the Tseretenya Bomah Chief of Ikotos County Peter Odwar in relation to an incident in which two nationals were arrested in Madi Opei Town Council, Lamwo district on suspicion of coordinating inter-border livestock thefts.
Authorities in Uganda and South Sudan are
counter accusing each other’s security and immigration officials of
the alleged abuse and harassment of their nationals while crossing the
The matter was raised by the Tseretenya
Bomah Chief of Ikotos County Peter Odwar in relation to an incident in which two
nationals were arrested in Madi Opei Town Council, Lamwo district on
suspicion of coordinating inter-border livestock thefts.
Odwar alleges that he has received persistent reports
from people who have suffered various forms of harassment purportedly perpetrated by immigration officials while crossing border points in
Odwar wondered how South Sudan nationals
who had been granted legal passage through Uganda’s immigration border posts
ended up being accused of crimes and their property
In a separate incident last month,
Odwar alleged that a Customs and border protection agent from Ikotos County was
reportedly beaten up by Uganda border officials, detained and his motorcycle
impounded under unclear circumstances. Odwar has now petitioned Ugandan authorities to intervene and
investigate violations of the rights of immigrants and to ensure that
the alleged perpetrators are brought
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However, the Lamwo Resident District
Commissioner James Nabinson Kidega equally accused the South Sudan immigrant
officials manning the border posts of reportedly subjecting Ugandan nationals to inhumane maltreatment.
Kidega says his office has severally
received reports of dehumanizing treatment and abuses including;
extortion, beatings, illegal detention and impounding motorcycles and vehicles
being encountered at the border points of Pajok, Tseretenya, Owiny-Kibul and
Lubone in South Sudan.
According to Kidega, repeated efforts by
his office over the complaint to the South Sudan counterparts to hold some of
these implicated security and border officials accountable for their actions of
misconduct have been unnoticed.
Kidega cited an incident that has dragged
on for months now, where a Ugandan contractor who left his vehicle and equipment
on his construction site in Magwi County due to the COVID-19 lockdown had his
equipment impounded by the police.
It’s reported that the contractor’s efforts
to have his vehicle released from custody has not been successful since the
police and border officials on the South Sudan side want him to pay three
million shillings and also sign documents that he did not understand.
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Daniel Luchofe, the Officer in Charge of
Immigration at the Tseretenya Customs in South Sudan didn’t rule out the claims
but says some claimants could have fallen prey for violating common
border protocols and engaging in criminal activities like smuggling and illicit
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The Ikotos County Commissioner Joseph
Lokolong condemned the allegations although he refuted receipt of any formal
complaints containing detailed claims of mistreatment by border agents.
Lokolong however apologized for any wrongs
lodged against their officials and asked Ugandan nationals to embrace reporting
any violations such that appropriate action is taken against the implicated
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Both countries have consented to enhance
coordination, information sharing and reporting cases of violation against
their respective citizens such that vice is minimized.