About three weeks ago, some people from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) invaded Uganda territory at Vurra, moving the border demarcation barrier deeper into Uganda and illegally erecting structures on the ‘grabbed’ land.
According to some Congolese officials, the area under contention is ‘no man’s land’, and the authorities in the DRC want to construct a parking yard in the area under dispute!
But even before the Vurra debacle recedes, hundreds of marauding South Sudan soldiers attack areas of Lamwo district in Uganda, claiming that it is their land.
That notwithstanding, the disruption of the socio-economic activities of Ugandans by these invaders is disturbing.
Tens of thousands of Ugandans have been displaced, with some going without food and other basic necessities like shelter, leading to despondency.
In fact, in the Vurra case, some young Ugandan men had mobilized themselves into a ‘fighting force’, ready to attack the invaders, only to be restrained by the Uganda Police.
For several years now Uganda has been ‘home’ of hundreds of thousands of refugees from all our neighbouring countries, including those from the DRC and South Sudan, all of who have had a comfortable stay devoid of harassment like happens in other countries.
Border demarcations in Africa were carried out by the colonialists in the early 1900s, and each country has got specific and known coordinates/beacons used to determine its land and water mass. There are also internationally recognized mechanisms to settle such issues and force is certainly not one of them.
Needless to say therefore, there is need for uncooperative parties in the Vurra and Lamwo incidents to follow the established methods of resolving any disagreements involving border demarcations.
And this should be done in the spirit of having and maintaining peace in the region.