A SPLA soldier keeps an eye at the South Sudan-Uganda border. (AP)
June 24, 2012 (JUBA)- The agreement was signed on behalf of the two governments by the Inspector Generals of both nation’s police forces last weekend, prior to the donation of two border monitoring vehicles to the Ugandan government, from the South Sudanese.
A police convoy led by director for administration at South Sudan Police Service (SSPS), Joseph Lado Lako and accompanied by the director of rescue forces in the ministry of interior, Abraham Albino; and the newly appointed police spokesperson, James Monday; left the capital, Juba, on June 21 for the Ugandan border near Nimule to deliver the vehicles.
In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday Colonel Monday said that the handing over ceremony was held on the Ugandan side of the border in Elegu. He described the trip as successful, and said that it will assist Uganda to “facilitate their mobility in patrolling criminal activities at the border as a result of joint integrated highway patrol mechanisms which the two Inspector Generals signed in Nimule on 16 June 2012."
He explained that the purpose of the joint mechanism is to ensure effective security monitoring on the commercial road linking the South Sudan capital, Juba - via Nimule – to the Ugandan capital of Kampala.
He quoted the representative of the Uganda police, Odangara Stephen, as thanking the Government of South Sudan for the donation and saying that security is paramount to the continued economic cooperation between the countries as the people from both nations are “brothers and sisters”.
Colonel Monday explained that the agreement allows Uganda and South Sudan to deploy a force of around 100 hybrid police officers in Elegu, to calm tensions following a three-day strike by businessmen and truck drivers.
At least 800 passengers destined to and from Juba, the South Sudan capital remained stranded during the weekend of the 8-9 July, following a strike staged by motorist in protest at what they claimed was "mistreatment" by South Sudanese security personal at the border with Uganda.
The strike reportedly ended on Monday, hours after the imminent arrival of the South Sudanese and Ugandan delegations was announced.
The police force, Colonel Monday explained, is made up of personnel drawn from the police Field Force Unit (FFU), Counter Terrorism (CT), Traffic Police (TF) and regular police armed with anti-riot gear and backed by an armoured vehicle will be deployed to the border area.
Acuil Tito Madut held meeting last week with his Ugandan counterpart to agree on an action plan which the two countries will execute in order to assure the continuous flow of goods and services between the countries.
He described the road linking South Sudan and Uganda in a statement broadcast on South Sudan Television and Radio on 16 June as a "lifeline for our people" and that "any interruption of the traffic would not only affect commercial activities but also movement of our people between the two countries”.
The director general of the Reserve Force, Abraham Albino, told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that the deployment of the joint police force improve the security situation fore the local communities as well as along the road.
Albino attributed some of the problems on the border to a "lack of communication" between the two nations; a situation he envisages being remedied by these improved and closer security ties.