South Sudanese Authorities Hands Over 13 Ugandans in Land Conflict Resolution

The 13 Ugandans who were allegedly abducted by South Sudanese authorities in Koch sub-county, Yumbe district, in retaliation for the arrest of Ernesto Tumia, a South Sudanese Chief of Bori Boma, on charges of fueling land conflicts.

Since December 13, 2021, Ernesto Tumia, a 52-year-old South Sudanese Chief from Bori village, Kejikeji county in South Sudan, has been entering Uganda with soldiers from the SSPDF, extending up to Fitina Mbayo village. He has been involved in parceling out land and allocating it to South Sudanese nationals. On September 8, 2023, Tumia, accompanied by the South Sudanese Army, distributed more land to South Sudanese individuals, which ultimately led to his arrest by the UPDF.

In retaliation, South Sudanese authorities and the Army arrested 13 Ugandans, detaining them until September 14, 2023. They were subsequently handed over at 2 pm at AFOGI BORDER POST in Moyo district to Ugandan authorities, headed by LCV Chairperson Yumbe, Hon. Aseku Abdul Mutalibu, DISO Yumbe, and others. In exchange, Ernesto Tumia was handed over through the Commandant OPM Bididi refugee camp, Nabugere Joel Michael, in liaison with South Sudanese authorities.

The individuals handed over included Vuni Badru, Aliku Amiza, Alias, Boy, Saidi Lombe, Taban, Ezati Philliam, Ayiko Cosmas, Odama Sam, Diof Gaddafi, Reagan Ali, while Kanda Innocent Samuel was still held pending the handover of Ernest Tumia.

On September 13, 2023, both Ugandans and South Sudanese authorities conducted a joint meeting, emphasizing peaceful co-existence. Several measures have been implemented by the Joint Security Agencies to prevent any infiltrations in Koch Sub-county, Yumbe district.”