Uganda and S. Sudan agree on border demarcation plan

Uganda and South Sudan have agreed on a blueprint for redrawing their common border.

The deal is expected to end the long-simmering border conflicts.

A joint technical committee from the two countries on Friday concluded a three-day meeting for the “delimitation and demarcation” of the border in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, a process facilitated and to be overseen by the African Union, the 55-member continental body.

The meeting, according to Ms Margaret Kafeero, the head of public diplomacy in Uganda's ministry of Foreign Affairs, “discussed the technical, logistical and security requirements that will need to be availed before” the exercise to delineate the 470km boundary stretch commences.

Technical expertise

“The African Union Border Programme experts provided technical expertise and in-depth consultations and best-practice information for both delegations,” Ms Kafeero revealed.

The blueprint includes expediting the acquisition of documents like certified colonial maps from the UK, carrying out continuous sensitisation of border communities, commencing demarcation of the hotspots once funds are available, and urging respective governments to expeditiously open border access roads to facilitate demarcation.

Colonised both

Since attaining self-rule in 2011, South Sudan has had several run-ins with Uganda over ownership of some border areas in the West Nile, specifically in the districts of Moyo and Lamwo.

The border was first drawn by the British, who colonised both Uganda and Sudan, in 1914.

South Sudan leaders in Central Equatorial Province have for long accused Ugandan farmers of encroaching on their territory, but leaders in Moyo District insist the contested land belongs to Uganda.

Requisite scrutiny

Armed men from South Sudan have at times crossed to the Ugandan side, leaving behind terror; pillaging and destroying property.

Attempts to re-demarcate the border, under the AU’s guidance have been on for some time now.

Ms Kafeero, however, indicated “no dates have been arrived at” for the commencement of the exercise because the “budget is still with the AU and must undergo requisite scrutiny”.

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