By Steven Candia
The South Sudan Police boss Gen. Pieng Deng has said his government will not expel any law abiding Ugandan.
His assurance over the weekend comes amidst persistent complaints of mistreatment from Ugandan traders and a Resident District Commissioner (RDC) being roughed up by security operatives in Juba at the weekend.
Speaking at a meeting with Ugandan traders on the sidelines of a joint security meeting between the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) and the Uganda Police Force (UPF) Deng moved to steel nerves by issuing the assurance as Ugandan traders said the magnitude of mistreatment especially at the hands of security personnel coupled with the recent ordeal of Ugandan boda boda riders had left them worried. South Sudan recently banned foreigners from indulging in boda boda operations there.
"Nobody is going to chase away Ugandans from South Sudan," Deng said at the Saturday mid-morning meeting held at the Star Hotel Inn Juba, the South Sudan Capital.
The meeting chaired Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura was attended by the security advisor to the Governor Central Equatoria Col. Vincent Kuju and RDCs of districts in Uganda neighboring South Sudan and Commissioners and government officials from South Sudan.
Kayihura in brief remarks asked Ugandans to stay calm, saying South Sudan was still building institutions but immense efforts were being put to address the issues. "Do not export any divisions and crime here. Bring only best practices here," Kayihura said
Both countries, Deng said, have a rich shared history cemented in blood which cannot be wiped away by a few incidents and called for harmony and understanding.
His remarks came moments after the Tibo Brahn Obiga, the acting chairman of the Ugandan community in South Sudan and a host of other traders accused South Sudan security of mistreatment, intimidation, torture and extortion by security personnel in the country where 'everyone claims to be a security personnel' among others, which they said had left worried and in a dilemma.
Responding to issues that had been raised Col. Ibrahim Abiriga, the Arua RDC who was attending the two day meeting revealed that he was recently a victim of brutality when he been roughed up by South Sudan security personnel the previous night.
Abiriga said he was dropping his sister in law at about 10:30pm in his official car, a Toyota Hilux truck registration number UG 1719 C when he was roughed up by security personnel near the airport.
"While driving along the road near the airport, i saw a road barrier and decided to stop and reverse but as I was doing that a man claiming to be security personnel came riding a boda boda from behind and shouted that I should not reverse. He demanded to know what I was doing there at that time. It is then that he began to rough me and he was joined by six others who had guns. They removed me from my car and rolled me on the ground properly. I was only saved when a senior officer arrived and ordered them to stop and demanded for my identification after seeing the number plate of my car," he said.
Both Deng and Kuju apologized over the incident saying it was not deliberate and that a probe had already been instituted into the Friday night incident. "I really apologize for what happened to you. I want to apologize on behalf the government of Central Equatoria over," Kuju said.