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S. Sudan NGO boss arrested over illegal gun possession

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April 10, 2018 (KAMPALA) - Police in the northern Ugandan district of Lira are reporting holding staff of a South Sudanese non-governmental organization over illegal possession of firearms.

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Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)

Morris Okwir, Daily Monitor reported, has been working as programmes director for John Dau Foundation (JDF) in South Sudan.

Okwir, 39, was reportedly arrested by police Sunday night following a tip-off by a concerned resident that he was in possession of a rifle.

During interrogation, Okwir reportedly told police he legally bought the gun in an open market in South Sudan for his personal security.

A charge of illegal possession of firearms with case file CRB 12/33/2018 has reportedly been opened, as investigations continue.

“The suspect admitted and directed us to where he was hiding the firearm. We found a 9MM Pistol model; BLOW P99 A CALL with serial NO. 8-002377 loaded with 4 rounds of live ammunitions,” David Ongom Mudong, the North Kiyoga regional police spokesperson told Daily Monitor.

Okwir say he legally acquired the firearm from South Sudan, but police have said it was illegal in Uganda since it was not registered.

“That is illegal, the law only permits security agencies to possess firearms, however, individuals who wish to acquire firearms should follow the right procedures as required by the Ugandan law within the Firearms Act,” stressed Ongom.

Meanwhile, the JDF president, Deng Dhieu Leek was quoted saying efforts are underway to contact Uganda’s security officials about the matter.

(ST)

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