South Sudan Embassy Denies Kidnapping Allegations in Uganda

south sudan ambassador issues guidelines for nationals and students in uganda
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The South Sudan embassy in Uganda has addressed allegations of kidnappings involving its citizens in the country. Contrary to reports, the embassy clarified on Monday, February 6, 2024, that 15 individuals were not kidnapped but were instead detained by the Police due to illegal residency.

According to South Sudan ambassador Simon Juach Deng, 14 of the detained individuals have been released, with one person currently undergoing the release process.

During a media briefing at the embassy’s premises in Kampala, Juach emphasized that the situation did not involve kidnapping but rather a routine Police operation to verify the immigration status of foreigners. He assured South Sudanese nationals in Uganda that their safety is not compromised and encouraged them to lead normal lives.

The embassy expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, particularly Minister Kahinda Otafiire and immigration leadership, for their cooperation in resolving the issue.

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The clarification comes in response to a video clip circulated on social media alleging the kidnapping of South Sudanese students. Investigation revealed that the 15 individuals were arrested by immigration officials in collaboration with the Police near the International University of East Africa (IUEA).

Juach disclosed that while four individuals possessed refugee ID cards and were promptly released, the others lacked proper documentation. Subsequently, efforts were made to secure valid passports and visas for the remaining detainees.

Looking ahead, the embassy emphasized the importance of South Sudanese residents in Uganda processing their documents in a timely manner to avoid legal complications. They also pledged to coordinate with government authorities to ensure prior notification of any future operations to prevent similar incidents.

Uganda currently hosts over one million South Sudanese refugees, a result of the civil war that erupted in South Sudan in 2013. Despite the past turmoil, Juach highlighted recent improvements in the security situation and ongoing efforts to organize elections in South Sudan.

In a previous press briefing on January 25, the ambassador urged South Sudanese nationals to return voluntarily to participate in the electoral process.

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