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Inside Adil’s cross-border deal with Uganda

By Charles K Mark


Central Equatoria State (CES) government and Uganda’s West Nile Districts have signed an agreement to bolster security, trade and peaceful coexistence between border communities.

The highly anticipated deal was inked by governor, Emmanuel Adil Anthony for South Sudan while Taban Data Peter, Adjumani Resident District Commissioner (RDC) for Uganda.

The deal resulted from the one-day cross-border security and trade meeting held in Yumbe district between South Sudan’s CES authorities and authorities of neighboring Uganda’s West Nile districts of Moyo, Adjumani, Yumbe, and Koboko on Friday.

According to the Resolutions dated Friday, October 27, 2023, the agreement entails the following, as unanimously agreed upon, among others:

Annual cross-border conferences are to be organized and funded for productive border relationships by the parties.

Parties resolved that the leaders at all levels at the border be sensitive to the statements and language they issue to avoid cases of incitement.

The deal also urged the government of South Sudan and Uganda to address the issue of the deployment of the two armies in the disputed border areas of Gobili and Fitina Mbaya with immediate effect.

The agreement called for the respect of the local leaders, landlords, and traditional leaders as the first line of local problem-solving mechanisms.

The parties further agreed for some of the future cross-border meetings to be conducted in South Sudan’s neighboring counties for the purposes of balancing and peacebuilding.

They also observed a need to discourage land sales along the border, as it is identified as one of the major causes of disputes.

“We also need to promote trade harmony to avoid inconsistencies in fuel transportation, and therefore URA should allow fuel to pass through Oraba customs, Kaya, the same way it is done through the Afogi border, Moyo.” The deal read in parts.

The parties also directed local government authorities from both sides to participate in social and official celebration activities such as religious and cultural sports as a sign of peace-building efforts across borders.

“There is a need to identify and organize landlords along the borders of Uganda and South Sudan so that they can help to resolve issues of misunderstanding over land ownership and international boundaries.” They resolved in Friday’s meeting.

Meanwhile, the meeting also commended the efforts of the two leaders of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and General Salva Kiir Mayardit of the Republic of South Sudan, towards the peace and security of the sister countries.

The parties noted the commitment of the Governor of C.E.S., the Resident District Commissioners of Adjumani, Koboko, Moyo, and Yumbe, and the County Commissioners of Kajo Keji, Lainya, Morobo, and Yei River Counties for their steadfast role in the continuous resolution of border security challenges between the two countries.

The meeting reiterated respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, interrogation, and unity of border communities in both the Republic of Uganda and South Sudan.

Last month, the governor of Central Equatoria State met with the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and the feuding communities, after which thirteen Ugandans caught logging were released, while a Kajo-Keji county local chief who was also arrested was also released.

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