Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) have agreed to form structures and share intelligence information on South Sudan rebels alleged to be hiding in Uganda disguised as refugees.
According to the agreement, UPDF and SSPDF will also share intelligence information on the Uganda National People’s Liberation Armed Forces (UNPLAF) alleged to be operating in South Sudan and dissidents of the National Salvation Army hiding in Uganda
The agreement was reached at the weekend during a meeting between Gen Wilson Mbadi, the UPDF Chief of Defence Forces, and Lt Gen James Koang Chuol, the SSPDF Deputy Chief of Defence Forces in charge of training and research, at the UPDF 4th Division Headquarters in Gulu City.
Although the media was blocked from the meeting, this newspaper learnt that the SSPDF authorities claimed that some Ugandans cross to South Sudan under the guise of doing business only to join the National Salvation Army. When they encounter resistance, then they flee and hide in Uganda disguising as refugees.
Gen Mbadi later told journalists in an interview that the agreement comes following the spill over of the UNPLAF and the National Salvation Army activities into Uganda and South Sudan.
“We have agreed to work together to make sure whatever insecurity affecting the two counties is dealt with through sharing of information, where necessary, joint operations against the negative groups and also being strict on refugee influx because some of the guys who pretend to be refugees are combatants,” Gen Mbadi said.
He reiterated that Uganda will do everything in its capacity to promote security in the region through cooperation.
Lt Gen Chuol said they will work with the UPDF to ensure that rebels disturbing peace at the border are defeated.
“I am happy to discuss these issues with Uganda and if we are willing to solve the problems of our borders, we shall end these conflicts,” he said.
In November 2020, the former SSPDF Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Johnson Juma Okot, led a military delegation to Gulu City meet Gen Wilson Mbadi. The meeting came following a series of clashes between the two forces at their common borderlines.