Chief of Staff, Land Forces, Brig Leopold Kyanda also coordinator of the evacuation mission, says the mission has been highly successful with the forces managing to rescue over 8,000 civilians
At least six Ugandans are being held by South Sudan rebels, suspected to be part of a SPLA breakaway group, headed by Gen Martin Kenyi, officials heading the Ugandan evacuation mission in the war-plagued country have said.
“On July 16, six Ugandans were abducted by the rebels in Ngomoromo, Lamwo District. Two were hawkers who had crossed to South Sudan, four were abducted from inside Uganda,” Mr Asuman Mugenyi, police director of operations told journalists during a press briefing at Bibia army detach in Amuru District.
“Negotiations are going on to have them back. We know they are not dead,” he added.
Last Friday, at least 20 households in Ngomoromo village, Lukung Sub-county, fled their homes after being displaced by suspected South Sudanese militia in a fresh border row. Ngomoromo borders South Sudan.
The alleged militia claim ownership of the 11-kilometre piece of land from South Sudan border to River Limu in Ngomoromo.
In August last year, about 200 armed South Sudanese soldiers entered nine kilometres into Ngomoromo village and displaced over 400 locals before putting an illegal boundary demarcation and a South Sudan national flag near river Limu. The militias destroyed several acres of crops belonging to the locals and looted livestock. The UPDF, however, repulsed them after a fierce exchange of gunfire.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff, Land Forces, Brig Leopold Kyanda also coordinator of the evacuation mission, says the mission has been highly successful with the forces managing to rescue over 8,000 civilians.
“We are happy with the progress made so far in the evacuation from South Sudan. We have rescued over 8,000 people including Kenyans, Rwandans, Somalis, Liberians, South Koreans and Tanzanians. Today the last batch is expected to arrive in Uganda at 3pm,” Brig Kyanda said.
Responding to questions regarding the attack on the army by unknown gun men last week, Brig Kyanda said it was an “ineffective small arms fire.”
On Friday last week, the Ugandan People’s Defence Force began the evacuation mission for Ugandans trapped in n the troubled South Sudan. The UPDF rescue mission follows the fights that erupted between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and his first vice president, Dr Riek Machar last week. The fighting left over 300 people dead and over 36,000 displaced into neighbouring countries. President Museveni last week ordered for the evacuation of Ugandans trapped in the South Sudan.
Majority of the Ugandans are business persons operating in Gumbo market in Juba Town, Nisitu Town and Juba, the capital city of South Sudan.