South Sudan government soldiers, Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), have halted a road survey in Agoro Sub-county, Lamwo District, in what could be a fresh row over territorial boundary.
Engineers from Pamp Bless Company contracted to undertake a survey of the 21-km road from Agoro to Apiriti market at the South Sudan border, were confronted by SPLA soldiers on Wednesday who accused them of crossing into South Sudan territory.
Under the Project for the Restoration of Livelihoods in Northern Uganda, Lamwo officials had proposed to construct the road to ease trade between residents of Agoro and Torit state.
The Agoro LC3 chairperson, Mr Denis Onyon, told Daily Monitor in an interview at the weekend that more than 60 armed SPLA soldiers led by the clan chief of Tseretenya in Geria County asked the surveyors to stop their activities.
“The soldiers were very many and armed, they violently confronted our Ugandan team with accusation that they have crossed to their territory. We want government intervention in this matter since it is a cross-border matter,” Mr Onyon said.
The Lamwo Resident District Commissioner, Mr Jonathan Rutabingwa, said they have informed government officials in Kampala and contacted the governor of Torit State, Mr Alberio Tobiolo, to resolve the matter.
Mr John Ogwok, the district chairperson, said the dispute was bound to delay the road project, which will benefit both the South Sudanese and Ugandans in boosting cross-border trade.
“The teams were on survey to get a proper road design and costing, now that the exercise has been halted, we are not sure when these designs and cash for the roadworks will be availed to the district,” Mr Ogwok said.