A member of parliament who represents Eastern Equatoria State’s Magwi County in the Council of States appealed to the Ugandan government to respect South Sudan territorial boundaries.
Speaking to media on Thursday in Juba, Okello Odongtoo, said Uganda must show leadership and restrain from provocative actions and unnatural deployment of their armed forces into the territory of South Sudan.
“Respect the territorial integrity and international laws. Those who are involved in land grabbing and excision practice of the areas in question should be told to vacate immediately,” said Okello.
He stated that the bilateral relations between Uganda and South Sudan extend beyond the border disputes because the two countries share historical, cultural and economic ties that can serve as the foundation for cooperation and collaboration.
“Discussions should also entail broader regional dynamics. Both Uganda and South Sudan are integral members of the East Africans region and their stability and corporations are essential for overall progress and prosperity for the region,” Okello noted.
Okello added that it should be important to consider the role of regional organizations such as the East African Community and the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in facilitating dialogue and providing support for conflict resolution.
However, the lawmaker commended the visiting Ugandan delegation who met with President Salva Kiir on Wednesday over the border issue.
“The visit of the Ugandan deputy minister of foreign affairs to the president of the Republic of South Sudan demonstrates the commitment of both countries to addressing the border dispute and straitening bilateral relations,” Okello said.
He argued that the visit should emphasise the importance of peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve disputes which is in the best interest of both countries.
“It is the best interest of both countries to prioritise dialogue, mediations and negotiation as a preferred method for addressing any differences by engaging in peaceful dialogue.”
According to Okello, Uganda and South Sudan could set up an example for other nations and contribute to the promotion of regional peace and stability.
On Wednesday, President Kiir received a communication from Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, a message urging the two countries to expedite boundary demarcation and resolution.
The reports indicated that South Sudan and Uganda agreed to speed up the border demarcation process in order to reduce bloodshed between the two sisterly neighbours.