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THE CURRENT UGANDA/SOUTH SUDAN SITUATION

 
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Ministry of Foreign  Affairs P. 0. Box 7048, KAMPALA,
UGANDA.
 

Inany correspondence on
this subject pkase quote no:    THE REPUBUC OF UGANDA

PRESS BRIEFING BY HON ASUMAN KIYINGI, MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, REGIONAL COOPERATION ALSO HOLDING THE PORTFOLIO OF THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ON THE CURRENT UGANDA/SOUTH SUDAN SITUATION- 23RD SEPTEMBER 2014
Distinguished Members of the Press

I have called  you today  to brief you on my recent trip to South Sudan on 18th of September  2014 where I went as a special envoy of the President of Uganda  to the President of South Sudan majorly on three issues which I consider  of importance  to Ugandans

1.        The boarder question at Moyo
2.        The directives by South Sudan on expulsion of Alien work force from the Republic of South Sudan
3.        Un-paid claims to Ugandan traders by South Sudan.

I met H.E. Salva Kiir in the attendance of Dr. Barnaba Marial  Benjamin-Minister  of Foreign  Affairs  & International  Cooperation  and Ambassador  Lazarus  Akoi Arou, Director African Affairs.   I will therefore now give you the highlights and major outcome of my trip to South Sudan.

1.        Border Question at Moyo:

Uganda reminaed Juba that the two Principals (H.E Yoweri Museveni and H.E Salva Kiir) visited Moyo in
2009 over the issue of the border dispute and provided guidance to the communities to live in harmony and utilize the land through cultivation and avoid erecting permanent structures/buildings until the two countries undertake a border verification and demarcation exercise.

There was an agreement that the last Joint Permanent Commission meeting of 51h   December,   2012  in Kampala, between the Government of Uganda and Republic of South Sudan provided the way forward where the two countries were to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to pave way for the creation of the Joint Technical Boarder Verification and Demarcation Committee. We informed South Sudan on our part that Government of Uganda originated a draft and sent to Republic of South Sudan but no response has ever been received on the draft proposal.  President Salva Kiir informed that he had met the Governor Central Equatorial State and had asked what had caused problems when both Presidents had met in the area and provided guidance to the communities.   H.E. President Salva Kiir informed that he did not expect any border problems  with Kenya and Uganda. H.E President Salva Kiir also informed that the MoU on Border  Verification and Demarcation had been cleared by Ministry of Justice of the Republic of South

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Sudan and Joint Permanent Commission was supposed to have been held in Juba last year (2013), but due to unavoidable circumstances could not be held.

Uganda also requested H.E Salva Kiir to restrain border communities from any actions that would escalate the situation  between  the two brotherly countries  until the question  is addressed  through the agreed mechanisms.  We remain hopeful that this will hold.

Uganda also protested the recent arrest of the LCV Chairman and enumerators who were involved in the Population Census exercise within Uganda and were unfortunately arrested and detained by the authorities from  South  Sudan.  I also reminded  them that sometime back some Members of Parliament  were also arrested by authorities in South Sudan. I therefore expressed the Government of Uganda's displeasure at these arbitrary arrests which I emphasized to them were not in the best interests of both countries as allies. President Salva Kiir regretted the incidents and said the arrests were unfortunate and promised to have the issues resolved.

Directives on Expulsion of Alien workforce from the Republic of South Sudan:

I discussed this issue with President Salva Kiir and told him that while Uganda is cognizant of the fact that South Sudan is a sovereign State and enacting laws in the best interests for its citizens, as allies it was important not to surprise each other. I therefore conveyed Uganda's appeal to him that he exercises his magnanimity in addressing the issue.

.In  response, H.E Salva Kiir informed that he had directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation to meet with Minister of Labor and Public Service and address the matter. H.E, Salva Kiir regretted that the good reasons behind the Minister's decision were overshadowed by the way the Media portrayed the order.   He assured there was no victimization or targeting of anyone and the issue has been addressed by rescinding the decision.

2.        Unpaid claims to Ugandan Traders:

I informed  South Sudan that this issue had been discussed  at very high level by the two Principals and their respective Ministers of Finance, Trade and Foreign Affairs on several occasions and sought to know the status of Payments.   I  informed   them  that the Government of Uganda had undertaken  verification and submitted its report to South Sudan. The next step was to form a Joint verification team which has never been done.   In response President Salva Kiir informed  that the previous week he had issued clear instruction to the Minister of Finance to clear the verified Ugandan trader's claims even if by half. He noted that he was aware of the dire financial situation some traders had been exposed to and the two Governments should not be seen as failing on their part to solve the problems. Uganda is therefore hopeful that this issue will soon be resolved in the interest of our people.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
KAMPALA                                  
23 September 2014

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