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South Sudan gang to appear before military court this week

Fifth Division Commander Brig William Bainomugisha during a bilateralsecurity meeting with south sudan government officials in January this year.

Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The Fifth Infantry Division military court is set to prosecute four Suspected South Sudanese gang members who were arrested over illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The suspects who have been in military detention for a month were arrested from Lucom village in Kitgum District by Uganda People Defense Forces-UPDF after reportedly making attempts to raid cattle from livestock farmers in the area. The suspects believed to have crossed from South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state were found in illegal possession of three guns loaded with live ammunition.

The Fifth Infantry Division Commander Brig William Bainomugisha told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Monday that the army has completed investigations and is now making arrangements to prosecute the suspects. Although Brig Bainomugisha did not disclose the exact date that the army has fixed to commence prosecution, he confirmed that the suspects will be arraigned this week before the General Court Martial.

The army court is expected to charge the suspects with illegal possession of firearms without valid licenses contrary to provisions of Uganda’s Fire Arms Act, and the suspects can get a jail sentence not exceeding ten years in prison, upon conviction. 

In January this year, the army along with the leadership of Kitgum District released 15 South Sudan nationals to the South Sudan government authorities without charges. The suspects had been arrested on separate days in Kitgum and Lamwo districts last year in possession of guns and ammunition.

Meanwhile,  the army court is also set to start prosecuting another person who was arrested for impersonating a UPDF officer. The suspect identified as Stephen Atura was arrested on Friday from Lira city in an operation mounted jointly by police and the army following a tip-off. 

Maj Flavia Terimulungi, the Fifth Infantry Division Spokesperson told URN that the suspect has been impersonating as a UPDF officer in the names of Stephen Aine at the rank of a Colonel and sometimes a major. “He is in our cell waiting for prosecution. We however call upon the people who were affected by his act to come and help in making statements that can pin him down,” she said. 



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