The Uganda People’s Defence Forces has come out to dismiss the narrative that was put out by the South Sudanese government on the recent shoot out at the border in which two soldiers were killed.
The two solders of the South Sudanese Defense Forces were gunned down by UPDF counterparts in a clash which took place in Pangila Sub County in Lamwo district on Tuesday.
Both countries have since traded accusations on who provoked who.
While South Sudan insists the UPDF solders crossed into their territory, the Ugandan army insists it was the South Sudanese who crossed into Uganda.
SSPDF spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai told local press that their solders were “investigating a suspicious activity by the Ugandan army.”
However, in a scathing response, the UPDF today dismissed these allegations stating on the contrary that the South Sudanese forces had set up a roadblock on Ugandan territory, which sparked the confrontation.
UPDF Deputy Spokesman Deo Akiiki described the claims by his South Sudanese counterpart as “completely false and a deliberate misrepresentation of what actually happened.”
“What happened is regrettable and can be avoided through mutual condemnation and decisive action against the remnant errant elements who on their own frolic made this incursion into Ugandan territory ostensibly for the unofficial and individual criminal ends of extorting and robbing the Ugandan public,” said Akiiki.
He went on to clarify; “On 27th October 2020 at around 1300hours, SSPDF troops of about a platoon (36) size established an illegal roadblock and an ambush at Ted-Nagwe (Atwila) in Pangira sub county, Lamwo district several kilometers inside Ugandan territory for unknown reasons. On receiving this information from the locals, the UPDF deployment in the area of Ngomoromo moved to Ted-Nagwe on a fact funding mission.
“While approaching the spot where the illegal roadblock was, one SSPDF soldier was spotted and the UPDF commander approached him for an explanation. While interacting with him, the rest came from the ambush and instantly opened fire towards the UPDF troops.
“The SSPDF soldiers were however subdued by UPDF retaliatory fire in which two SSPDF soldiers died and one was captured with three guns (SMG). There was no single casualty registered on UPDF side. The two bodies, the captured soldier and three guns were handed over to the South Sudanese authorities on 29th October 2020,” Akiiki clarified.
He noted that the continued incursions into Ugandan territory by South Sudanese armed elements presents a challenge not only to the border communities but to the brotherly relations between both countries.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence of both countries, Akiiki said are working closely to address the matter.
He added that diplomatic engagements by relevant stakeholders are ongoing to complete the re – demarcation and re – affirmation of the common border to forestall future conflicts.