Ugandan army hands over two South Sudanese rebels to government

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The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have handed over two National Salvation Front (NAS) rebels to the South Sudan government after they were arrested in Uganda, a senior Ugandan army officer said.

The Spokesperson of Uganda People’s Defence Forces, Brig Flavia Byekwaso, told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that Victor Batali and Augustine Yakal were handed over during exercises conducted in northern Uganda last week.

“There had been complaints about these rebels crossing into Uganda, disturbing the locals and that kind of stuff. So these ones already fell in a trap that had been set. These ones were held because of the complaints that have been repeatedly reported to the authorities. So when these ones were seen, they were apprehended,” she said.

She added, “This is a joint mechanism between the two countries but generally between all countries, that when one crosses and is apprehended in one country, he or she handed over back to the authorities. And now the recognized authority is the government.”

According to Flavia, the safety of the two rebel members is the responsibility of the South Sudan government.

“Our responsibility is to hand over people that are believed to be South Sudanese to the government. The government is responsible for them. Whether they are rebels or not rebels, they are under the responsibility of South Sudan’s government,” she said.

When contacted, the spokesman of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), Brig Gen. Lul Ruai Koang said:” I am not in a position to comment on the matter.”

Suba Samuel Manase, the spokesperson of the rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS) could not immediately be reached for comment.

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