By Candia Stephen
Arua-Police in West Nile has issued a stern warning to South Sudanese refugees in the region against sneaking in with and holding illegal weapons in the camps.
Speaking to West Nile Press Online on Wednesday, the police spokesperson for West Nile Josephine Angucia, made the appeal following reports of people entering illegally to settle in the refugee camps suspectedly with guns.
Barely a week ago, about 70 refugees voluntarily handed over their cards to the UN refugee agency and returned to South Sudan especially in Yei County, citing unfavorable conditions of living in the camps.
However some intelligence reports indicate that those who voluntarily left the camps when the situation is still highly volatile in South Sudan could have been intelligence personnel from one of the rebel groups fighting Kiir’s government, who camouflaged as refugees so as to gather intelligence information from the camps.
But police says continuous community policing and appeals are being made to encourage the South Sudanese refugees to handover illegal guns in their possession and avoid playing double standards is being a refugee and also a soldier in the camps.
“The porous borders between Uganda, South Sudan and DRCongo present a big security challenge since the gun wielding men use them to enter West Nile. There is a lot of temptation if one has a gun, so we shall not allow them to negotiate and keep guns in the camps,” Angucia said.
She further urges the refugees not to play double standards by being a refugee at one time and a soldier at another.
In October last year, one identified as Data, a South Sudanese rebel was arrested in Koboko after he sneaked in with his colleagues to recruit youths from the district. But by the time of his arrest, several Ugandans and some South Sudanese living in Koboko were already undergoing training in their hideout in South Sudan.
He was transferred to Gulu army barracks where he is facing court martial on charged of illegally recruiting Ugandan and South Sudanese of Kakwa origin to overthrow the government of South Sudan.
Two of his accomplishes identified as Yakani and Sebastian have since escaped and are believed to be in hiding in South Sudan.