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S. Sudan gang to appear before Ugandan military court

May 17, 2021 (KAMPALA) - The Fifth Infantry Division military court is set to prosecute four suspected South Sudanese gang members arrested over the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

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According to a URN report, the suspects, who have been in military detention for a month, were arrested from Lucom village in Kitgum district by Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) after reportedly making attempts to raid cattle from livestock farmers in the area.

The suspects believed to have crossed from South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state were found in illegal possession of three guns loaded with live ammunition.

The Fifth Infantry Division commander, Brig William Bainomugisha said in an interview on Monday that the army completed investigations and is now making arrangements to prosecute the four suspects.

Bainomugisha did not, however, disclose the exact date when the army would commence prosecution, but confirmed that the suspects would be arraigned before the General Court Martial within this week.

Meanwhile, the army court is expected to charge the suspects with illegal possession of firearms without valid licenses contrary to provisions of Uganda’s Fire Arms Act, and the suspects can get a jail sentence not exceeding 10 years in prison, upon conviction.

In January this year, the army released 15 South Sudan nationals to the South Sudan government authorities without charges. The suspects had been arrested on separate days in Kitgum and Lamwo districts last year in possession of guns and ammunition.

(ST)