UPDF issues statement on recent clashes between SSPDF and UPDF forces

        Press Statement

Clarification on the skirmish along South Sudan-Uganda border

November 1, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Uganda Peoples Defence forces (UPDF) has noted with concern the statement attributed to the director of media and press and spokesperson of the South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces (SSPDF) dated 29m Oct 2020.

The statement is completely false and a deliberate misrepresentation of what actually happened. What happened is regrettable and can be avoided through mutual condemnation and decisive action against the remnant errant elements who on their own frolic, made this incursion into Ugandan territory ostensibly tor the unofficial and individual criminal ends of extorting and robbing the Ugandan public.

Regarding the incident, the following are the facts:

• That on 27m Oct 2020 at around 1300hrs SSPDF troops of about a platoon(36) size established an illegal road block and an ambush at Ted-Nagwe (Atwila) in Pangira sub-county, Lamwo district several kms inside Ugandan territory for unknown reasons.

• On receiving this information from the locals, the UPDF deployment in the area of Ngomoromo moved to Ted Nagwe on a fact-finding mission.

• While approaching the spot where the illegal roadblock was, one SPDF soldier was spotted and the UPDF commander approached him for an explanation. While interacting with him, the rest came from the ambush and instantly opened fire towards the UPDF troops.

• The SSPDF soldiers were however. subdued by UPDF retaliatory fire in which two SSPDF soldiers died and one was captured with three guns (SMG). There was no single casualty registered on UPDF side. The two bodies, the captured soldier and the three guns were handed over to the South Sudanese authorities on 29h Oct 2020. It is within the means of the leadership of both the UPDF and SSPDF to address and put this matter to rest.

The continued incursions onto Ugandan territory by South Sudanese armed elements, presents a challenge not only to the border communities but to the brotherly relations between the two countries. Last, the ministries of foreign affairs and Defence of the two sister countries are working closely to oddress the matter. Diplomatic engagements by relevant stake holders are ongoing to.complete the re-demarcation and reaffirmation of the common border to forestall future conflicts.

Two S. Sudanese solders killed by UPDF laid to rest

Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Kong briefs a group of solder during a military parade |Photo: Gettyimages

October 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–Two South Sudanese servicemen killed during a border-related dispute between South Sudan and neighboring Uganda have been laid to rest.

On Thursday, the SSPDF lost its two soldiers following a fierce firefight with a Ugandan Mechanized Unit over a disputed area in Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria State.

As the two countries learned of the incident, an arrangement was made to handover the bodies of the deceased soldiers to South Sudan.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj on Friday, the SSPDF spokesperson Lul Ruai Koang confirmed that they had received the bodies, “We have received the two bodies including our soldier who was captured with their guns in our border there. These bodies were buried yesterday in the evening in the same place.”

“Four other soldiers were killed in Kajokeji and some of our people died in a way we cannot understand. The best solution is that the border should be known by Uganda, they are the ones disputing this land,” he added.

The SSPDF military leadership appeals to the Ugandan government to cease violent confrontations and find an amicable way of resolving the border dispute.

“First, the issue needs a political solution using colonial references. The military solution cannot help because soldiers don’t talk, they fight,” he said. “Our politicians in South Sudan and politicians in Uganda should sit and reach a political solution and the technocrats will show us the border.”

Breaking: UPDF forces vow to dislodge SSPDF troops from the border

A UPDF gunner ranges a scope on a Machine gun mounted on top of a building|Photo:File
A UPDF gunner ranges a scope on a Machine gun mounted on top of a building|Photo:File

October 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has vowed to advance and dislodge SSPDF forces from adjacent areas bordering Uganda and South Sudan, according to a military source interviewed this morning by a local Radio station.

On Thursday, the UPDF forces were accused of an unusual incursion into South Sudan’s territory, causing fears among local residents in Eastern Equatoria.

“At 1: pm, a mechanized Unit of Ugandan People’s Defense Forces made a major incursion into our territory. UPDF armed with heavy artillery pieces and light military trucks mounted with 12.7mm machine guns launched cross border attack on own Defensive Border outpost at Pogee in Magwi County, Eastem Equatoria State. SSPDF Squad sized force heroically fought to protect territorial integrity of our beloved Country,” said Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Kong, SSPDF Military Spokesperson.

“However, that small force was outnumbered, outgunned and was temporarily forced to retreat. A hasty counterattack code named “Operation Restore Territorial Integrity of the Republic of South Sudan” was launched to flush out mechanized Units of UPDF. As things stand, SSPDF had regained full control of Poge, reinforced and strengthened own defensive postures along the borders with Uganda.”

Lul confirmed that the incident left two SSPDF soldiers dead and wounded several others on the battlefield.

“The brief clash resulted in own two dedicated servicemen getting killed in action while a third was captured. Reliable intelligence reports indicated UPDF had lost two servicemen as well. UPDF is currently in custody of remains of fallen comrades along with their personal assault rifles.”

“Bilpam had established contacts with UPDF leadership on unprovoked incursion and the later had in turn promised to handover remains of fallen soldiers along with their guns as well as the serviceman taken as PoW. Handingover ceremony is expected to take place in the next few days.”

“SSPDF reiterates commitment to maintenance of cordial relations with UPDF but was saddened by [the] chameleonic behaviors of that army from supposedly sisterly country.”