UPDF soldiers arrest armed SPLA soldier

Monday March 25 2019

Lance Corporal James Onyang

Lance Corporal James Onyango at Bana Bana Military Detach 

By URN

UPDF soldiers have arrested an armed South Sudanese soldier roaming inside Uganda’s territorial boundaries.

UPDF soldiers attached to Bana Bana Military Detach in Madiopei Sub-county in Lamwo District intercepted Lance Corporal James Onyango on Saturday.

The soldier who had an AK47 assault rifle and 59 rounds of ammunition, is attached to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army-SPLA Lion Battalion.

He reportedly got lost from his unit.

Mr James Nabinson Kidega, the Lamwo Resident District Commissioner, confirmed the incident.

Mr Kidega says Onyango who only speaks Arabic, was first detained at Bana Bana Military Detach and later transferred to Padibe Police Station. 

Mr Kidega said that the soldier was spotted by civilians in the jungles of Ngomoromo in Lokung Sub-county before he crossed to the neighbouring Paloga Sub-county heading to Agoro, which borders South Sudan.

Onyango was reportedly trailed by UPDF for two days before he was rounded up.

According to Mr Kidega, investigations are still ongoing to ascertain what exactly caused Onyango to stray into Uganda’s territory with a gun.

Local leaders in the area say that the porous Uganda-South Sudan border has facilitated cross border crime that requires extra vigilance.

Onyango is the second armed South Sudanese national to be arrested in Uganda in less than four months. 

In December 2018, an armed South Sudan singer, Mr Grace Samuel Rom alias Wajarasi was arrested by UPDF soldiers after straying into Uganda to carry out illegal poaching. 

He was found with two antelope carcases and was remanded to Gulu Central Prison.

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