South Sudan artiste held over entering Uganda with rifle

Tuesday December 18 2018

A security source says the suspect was

A security source says the suspect was apprehended with a rifle. COURTEST PHOTO  

By DAN MICHEAL KOMAKECH & DENIS OPOKA

KITGUM - Authorities in South Sudan are negotiating with their Ugandan counterparts for the unconditional release of a South Sudanese musician who was last week arrested while hunting in Uganda.

While chairing a  Tuesday meeting between the a team of Ugandan and South Sudan entourage at Kitgum Bomah Hotel, Lamwo Resident District Commissioner, Mr James Kidega Nock commended his counterparts for making a formal pursuit of their colleague. 

 Mr Kidega said the suspect was found in possession of a rifle loaded with live ammunition.

It’s reported that the artiste identified as Okeny Rom Grace alias “Wangaras Suspect” is being detained at the UPDF 4th Division Headquarters in Gulu.

He was found hunting in the wilderness of Lagaya village, Plabek Kal Sub County in Lamwo District.

“An intelligence report reveals that he was arrested with a gun and upon interrogation, he said he was only hunting and got lost in Uganda,” Mr Kidega said.

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A security source that preferred anonymity says the suspect was arrested with an SMG gun serial number 14067671 with 16 rounds of live ammunitions and two antelope caucuses. 

The Magwi County Commissioner, Mr Bosco Ochola Oringa, said they responded after the suspect’s relatives reported a case of a missing person, three days after he reported that he was going to hunt.

Mr Oringa said that according to the Constitution of South Sudan,  it is illegal for civilians to possess firearms but decried the incident which he faulted on the rudimentary culture by a section of South Sudan residents who are illegally possessing firearms.

In a telephone with Daily Monitor on Tuesday, UPDF 4th Division spokesman Maj.  Caesar Olweny, confirmed the arrest saying the suspected entered Uganda illegally and his involvement in criminal tendencies is illegal.

“If you are a citizen of another country, you are not supposed to enter another country with a firearm. This man committed a lot of criminalities,” Maj Olweny said.  

Maj Olweny said the suspect was involved in poaching by killing Uganda’s wild animals.

Last Month, UPDF soldiers shot dead a South Sudan rustler at Apiriti Border post in Madi-Opei Sub-county after a foiled cattle raid.

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