http://citizenspace.us/wp-admin/includes/widgets.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>South Sudan now claims that the attacks, harassments and beatings were fuelled by misguided information that their government had deliberately ordered Ugandans out of the country.
An order was issued by the country’s new Minister of Interior, banning all foreign bodaboda riders’ operations there, on grounds that they were contributing to continuous accidents and escalating criminal activity.
About 1,600 Ugandan riders were consequently sent parking, with many complaining that at least 9 Ugandans had been brutally murdered and several motorcycles confiscated.
Back here, enraged Ugandans have subsequently been reported to carry out retaliatory attacks on Southern Sudanese in the areas of Mukono, Makindye, Zana, and Ntinda, while many others were rescued by Uganda police and are being sheltered at Katwe police station.
South Sudanese Ambassador to Uganda HE Samuel Luate Lominsuk on Thursday was locked up in a private meeting with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare for investigations in the attacks on both sides, and curve out lasting solutions to the rivalry between the neighbors which has continued to endanger their relationship ever since South Sudan got its independence two years ago.
Speaking to the press at after the meeting, Lominsuk reiterated that the order was not in any way targeting only Ugandans, but was meant for “every alien operating bodaboda business in the country.”
The motorcyclists, he said, had no documentation to verify them in events of crimes and that they were being used as gateway means by robbers from crime scenes.
“Since its independence in July 2011, South Sudan has witnessed a number of foreign behaviors and norms in its society, which impacted negatively on its people. Our people are not accustomed to such behaviors as murders, and stealing from each other or for that matter from somebody. They have learnt them directly from these imported scenarios,” SAID THE South Sudan envoy.
He also said that riders had not been immediately ordered out of the country, noting that even their archrival [Khartoum] Sudanese nationals had not been deported back since independence.
While Ugandans are well known both regionally and internationally as a peace loving and hospitable population, welcoming and accommodating every foreigner, there have not been as many reports about Ugandans in foreign countries being attacked and brutally murdered, as is the case in Southern Sudan today.
Lominsuk blamed the escalating attacks solely on immaturity, and inexperienced nature of their government, that in two years they have not yet laid a sturdier framework and strong criminal justice system to contain its unruly population.
“Uganda itself had been independent for the last 50 years. But it still has an unruly group of motorcycle riders; I saw them fighting violently in protest of registration with authorities. You meet them on the roads riding the opposite direction, and wonder if you are driving on a wrong lane. If that is the case here, what do you expect from a two-year old country?” he said.
Uganda condemns attacks
Meanwhile, the government of Uganda joined their counterparts to condemn the attacks on the South Sudanese.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Asuman Kiyingi told reporters that the South Sudanese government ought to be allowed as a sovereign state to carry out regulation on its transport system and protect its people.
“We only questioned the manner in which the order was implemented, because it was sudden and without a transitional arrangement to allow our people prepare to get out or adjust to the new regulations.”