Shops closed as thousands demonstrate over arrests by S. Sudan Police

MOYO

Businesses in Moyo town have been closed this morning as protestors who include local leaders and traders march from Moyo town to Afoji border post that links Uganda to South Sudan over border conflicts.
The over 1,000 agitated demonstrators carrying placards began their march after they were addressed by Moyo leaders to show discontent over arrests local leaders and traders by South Sudan government officials.
The Woman MP for Moyo, Ms Anne Auru, who is leading the demonstration, said: “We are tired of these border conflicts and we want to show that we are upright people and government has failed to solve this. We still have plan B if government cannot protect the citizens.”

South Sudanese traders own about 90 percent of business in Moyo town. The locals also hired ten beehives which they said was intended to be unleashed to sting the South Sudanese in Afoji. On some of the placards, they had messages like “UPDF protect Ugandans,’ President Museveni should help and President Salva Kiir should sack Commissioner Kajo-Keji and ‘RDC, DPC, Deputy DISO out of Moyo district.’
The District Police Commander, Mr Milton Bwembale, said: “The demonstration has been granted but should be peaceful. In any case it turns rowdy, we are prepared to counter them because I have re-enforcement from Yumbe and Adjumani districts.”

Last week, South Sudanese policemen arrested the local leaders and census officials at Gwere village during enumeration exercise. Before the arrest, the Kajo Keji Commissioner, Mr Henry Sabuni, said he would not allow enumerators on the disputed land in Gwere in Moyo Sub-county.
Among those who were arrested last week included Daily Monitor reporter, Mr Scovin Iceta,and two UPDF soldiers who said they were tortured and detained at Mere police station in Kajo-Keji that was unfit for human settlement.
It took about four hours to negotiate their release from the police station. The UPDF soldiers have also been deployed heavily escorting the demonstrators to Afoji border. The leaders and locals are also calling for closure of the border. Afoji is about seven kilometers from Moyo town.

The locals have been joined by Obongi County MP, Hassan Fungaroo, the LC5 chairman, Mr Jimmy Vukoni, the traditional Chief of Madi and others.
In August 2009, SPLA soldiers also abducted 20 workers and tortured them while in detention in South Sudan. Then two Presidents, Salva Kiir and Yoweri Museveni met in June 2010 in Moyo to resolve the conflict.
They had agreed for a joint mission to establish the border lines and that there should be no activities by both Ugandans and South Sudanese like farming on the disputed land.

More details to follow
Reported by Martin Okudi, Scovin Iceta and Felix Warom
editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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