September 30, 2013 (KAMPALA) - Uganda’s Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura and his South Sudan counterpart, Gen Peing Deng over the weekend met in the South Sudan capital of Juba to discuss border security and persistent complains of harassment by Ugandan traders in South Sudan.
The meeting of the two police chiefs comes on the backdrop of the South Sudan Interior ministry issuing a directive in August banning foreigners from operating motorcycle taxis, commonly known as boda-boda.
About 1,600 Ugandans working in South Sudan as commercial riders were affected by the directive. The riders returned back to Uganda complaining of harassment in South Sudan. Some Ugandan legislators called for the expulsion of South Sudanese in Uganda. The Ugandan government dismissed the call saying it had lodged a complaint with the South Sudan government on the treatment of its nationals.
In the latest indicator that the two countries are making efforts to address any fallout from the expulsions and treatment of Ugandan traders, South Sudan’s Inspector General of police, Gen Peing Deng, while addressing a meeting of Ugandan traders with his Ugandan counterpart said Ugandan traders in South Sudan will not be expelled and promised them security.
"We don’t care who is improving our economy, we need our economy improved’’, said Gen Peing at a meeting at Star Hotel Inn, in an apparent reference to the contribution of foreign nationals to South Sudan’s economy.
Uganda’s police spokesperson Patrick Onyango who attended the Juba meeting told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the South Sudan boss had assured security for law abiding Ugandan citizens in South Sudan.
"The Inspector General of police of South Sudan assured Ugandans that they will not be expelled from South Sudan unless they are criminals. The traders are happy with this", said Patrick Onyango.
The Uganda police spokesperson also said the two police bosses had discussed border security particularly the conflict between Lamwo district in Uganda and Magwi in South Sudan. According to the police spokesperson, the matter has been left in the hands of technical people to resolve.
‘‘The border conflict between Ngomoromo in Lamwo and Magwi in South Sudan has been left in the hands of technical people from the two countries,’’ he said.
In 2011, officials from Eastern Equatoria state in South Sudan accused Ugandan soldiers of operating inside their territory.
Last week officials from Eastern Equatoria state said they were left disappointed after officials from Uganda’s Lamwo district failed to turn up for a border cooperation meeting with them.
The Ugandan police spokesperson could not readily avail information on when the technical team would begin work to address the border conflict, but said a timeline had been set on when the team would begin work.