Four South Sudan soldiers shot dead by Ugandan military in contested border area

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Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers ride atop their military truck enroute to evacuate their citizens following recent fighting in Juba at Nimule town along the South Sudan and Uganda border, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Anthony Nambwaya
Ugandan soldiers ride near Nimule town along the South Sudan and Uganda border, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Anthony Nambwaya

At least four South Sudanese soldiers were killed by their counterparts from neighboring Uganda over the weekend, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Lul Ruia Koang, spokesperson for the South Sudan Defense Forces (SSPDF) said the incident between SSPDF forces and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) happened on Sunday after the two sides exchanged fire in a contested border area in the southern parts of the country.

“UPDF soldiers opened fire on our soldiers in Buya and as a result, they killed four on the spot and wounded another,” the spokesperson told Xinhua by phone.

The disputed area is claimed by communities of Kajo-Keji county of Central Equatoria state in South Sudan and their neighbors from Yumbe district of Uganda.

Koang said the SSPDF soldiers were conducting foot patrol to enforce cross-border movement restrictions at the time of the clashes.

“The area where our servicemen were killed is a disputed area,” the spokesperson said, adding that calm has since returned to the region after the two governments agreed to investigate the cause of the fighting.

“We have requested for an investigation to be conducted so that we know why they opened fire on soldiers who were on foot patrol and does not pose any threat to them,” he said.

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