October 28, 2021

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South Sudan nationals accuse Uganda border officials of harassment

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Security personnel and immigration officials manning Ngomoromo border post have been accused of  illegal extortion and detention of South Sudanese nationals. Courtesy photo

Lamwo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | South Sudan authorities have accused Ugandan security personnel and immigration officials of allegedly harassing their nationals. The concerns were raised by authorities of South Sudan’s Magwii County in the Eastern Equatorial state during an inter border security meeting held on Monday at the Ngomoromo border outpost in Lokung sub county, Lamwo district.

The delegation from South Sudan alleges that their nationals have reportedly been subjected to inhuman treatment while exiting and entering the country through the border posts in Lamwo district.

Lamwo district has five official border posts of Apiriti in Madi Opei sub county, Waligo in Palabek Nyimur sub county, Awenolwiyo and Ngomoromo in Lokung sub county and Loguru in Agoro sub county.

Peter Rokop, the 42nd South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces (SSPDF) Battalion Intelligence Officer in Pugee barracks says that their nationals have implicated officials manning the borders of Lamwo for allegedly perpetrating the vice.   According to Rokop, the most affected victims are South Sudanese asylum seekers who while returning home are always detained and only released after paying a bribe of 50,000 shillings each to the immigration officials.

The Magwi County Commissioner David Otoo Rambson confirmed having received complaints from South Sudanese who have suffered various forms of harassment including; illegal extortion, beatings, detentions and having their motorcycles and vehicles impounded while crossing the official border points in Uganda.

Otto has now petitioned the Lamwo Resident District Commissioner demanding investigations.

Henry Kintu, an immigration officer based at Ngomoromo police outpost however refuted the claims.

The Lamwo Resident District Commissioner James Nabinson Kidega didn’t rule out the allegations.

He however says that some South Sudanese nationals could have fallen prey to the vice for violating common border protocols and flouting restrictive measures imposed against the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease.

Kidega asked the South Sudanese nationals to report such claims so that investigations and appropriate action is taken against the implicated border officers.

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