At least four Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers have been arrested at Oraba border post in Koboko District after crossing into Uganda with guns and stirring trouble.
Lt Hassan Kato, the UPDF 4th Division spokesperson, confirmed to Daily Monitor yesterday that the four SPLA soldiers based at Kaya in Yei County, South Sudan, crossed into Uganda and attempted to attack a section of UPDF soldiers at the Oraba border post.
He identified the soldiers as Cpl Ring Gony Ring, Pte Joseph Akon, Pte Abubaker Kauchol, and Sgt Cirlo Alue, who was armed with a sub-machinegun, 120 bullets, and two hand grenades.
“It all started when the SPLA soldiers crossed into Uganda (at Oraba), and indulged in drinking and sparked off a brawl among themselves, but where civilians were drinking,” Lt Kato said.
“Our soldiers identified and ordered them to stop, but one of them fired at our soldiers and fled back to Kaya in South Sudan, leaving behind his armed colleagues,” he added.
But Mr Samuel Luate, the South Sudan ambassador to Uganda, denied any knowledge of the incident, saying: “We are not aware, but we shall let you know if we get any information.”
Oraba border post, that has now become inactive because of the recent clashes in South Sudan, is an entry and exit point on the Uganda-South Sudan border.
Only last week, the Koboko District Council chairperson Mr Hassan Nginya, called for a joint border patrol in order to protect Ugandans crossing into South Sudan for business.
His call comes hot on the heels of an ambush last week by South Sudan rebels who attacked and killed five Ugandan travellers on the Juba-Nimule road. But Lt Kato assured Ugandans that the UPDF will patrol Uganda’s borderline to ensure peace and calm and stop any external aggression.
Over the years, there have been several incidents of incursions into Uganda by armed SPLA soldiers.
In another incident, gunmen from South Sudan sneaked into Belameling Refugee settlement Camp and killed Chaplin Wani, 79, who was a refugee in the camp.
SEPTEMBER 2014: Suspected SPLA soldiers abducted a section of leaders of Moyo District and 11 other residents, including journalists.
APRIL 2017: Five gunmen from South Sudan sneaked into Moyo District and abducted two South Sudanese nationals.