Aswa County MP Ronald Reagan Okumu has asked the Ugandan government to cut all its regional cooperation with South Sudan.
Mr Okumu’s concerns follow the announcement by South Sudan this week that all foreign workers should leave the country by October 15. However, the announcement has since been withdrawn.
Mr Okumu also cited the recent arrest of the officials in Moyo District by South Sudan officials while carrying out the census exercise.
Mr Okumu, also chairperson Acholi Parliamentary Group, told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Tuesday that: “This is a matter that the government should not take lightly. Our government is footing hefty bills and shedding blood for peace in South Sudan but their authorities have gone blind and instead charged to expel foreign workers, whom majority are Ugandans.”
He added that Uganda should think twice on the presence of its troops in a country that has no moral respect for its citizens despite the levels of help it has provided.
“We are tired of the mistreatment our citizens have been subjected to while in South Sudan. We demand that the government ceases dealing with South Sudan in security and business matters,” Mr Okumu said.
He also faulted Uganda’s ministry of Foreign Affairs for continuously folding its arms when its citizens are being suppressed by South Sudan authorities.
The director Chamber of Commerce northern region, Mr Mark Moro, told Daily Monitor that the step South Sudanese authorities had taken is shocking to the Ugandan fraternity there. “As business leaders in the region, we greatly condemn the decisions that had been taken to expel our foreign workers from South Sudan,” Mr Moro said.
Efforts to get comments from State minister for Foreign Affairs in Charge of Regional Cooperation, Mr Asuman Kiyingi, were futile as he did not answer the repeated phone calls.
He, however, told this newspaper on Wednesday that: “I think it’s not right in terms of our regional cooperation, but I wouldn’t want to comment any further because it would be speculation on my side before I receive [a] full briefing.”
Late last year, South Sudan officials expelled all Ugandans who were engaged in boda-boda business in the capital Juba. Two weeks ago, Moyo District officials and census enumerators were hel by South Sudan security while carrying out census activities.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor