By Wokorach-Oboi 1 September 2011
A joint ministerial technical team tasked to define the border between Uganda and South Sudan has started work.
The team, led by Michael Karugaba from the foreign affairs ministry, on Monday visited border areas in Lokung and Madi Opei sub-counties in Lamwo district.
The visit kick-started the fact-finding mission.
Addressing a press conference at Four Seasons Hotel in Kitgum town yesterday, Lamwo resident district commissioner Alfred Omony Ogaba said the exercise would re-establish the border as drawn by the British colonialists.
"Because the new republic has come in place, it is in the interest of the ordinary citizens to know where their actual border lies," Ogaba said.
The move comes in the wake of reports that South Sudanese authorities are claiming huge chunks of land several miles inside Uganda.
Lokung sub-county leaders recently said residents living near the border reported that South Sudanese authorities had warned them to stop digging and harvesting from their gardens.
However, Ogaba, who talked to journalists on behalf of the verification team, down-played any contention among citizens of the two countries.
"I cannot say there is contention as yet. However, It is understandable that what the South Sudanese might perceive as theirs is not actually theirs. Or if it is theirs, they might not have properly identified it," Ogaba said.
He, however, confirmed that some South Sudanese had claimed land in Ngom-Oromo Lokung and Madi Opei sub-counties.