Moyo-Sixteen residents of Moyo District who were arrested by South Sudan security officials on Thursday were released on Friday and returned home.
Mr Scovin Iceta, a Monitor correspondent who was among those arrested, said they were forced to walk 35km from the point of detention in Mere, one of the biggest prisons in Kojo-Keji County in South Sudan.
“The soldiers hit me with the gun butt on my lower abdomen before kicking my ribs with military shoes,” Iceta said.
South Sudan soldiers arrested Ugandan census and local government officials who were overseeing the on-going national census exercise in the border Wano village in Lefori Sub-county in Moyo on Thursday.
Three journalists who were covering the exercise were also detained by the Sudanese officials. Both Uganda and South Sudan claim the village is on their territory.
Iceta said the South Sudan soldiers brutalised them during the arrest and detention. He said their hands were tied to their backs and they were instructed to march in a single line.
“You journalists are the ones influencing the locals through frequent updates, so today is your turn,” he quoted one of the South Sudan soldiers as saying.
Mr Vukoni Jimmy Okudi, the Moyo District chairperson, confirmed the release. “We have finally gained our freedom but we were terribly tortured,” he said.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor