Uganda police: Armed men abduct 20 villagers near S. Sudan border

Gunmen in northern Uganda have abducted 20 villagers close to the border with South Sudan. — Reuters pic
Gunmen in northern Uganda have abducted 20 villagers close to the border with South Sudan. — Reuters pic

KAMPALA, May 20 — Gunmen in northern Uganda have abducted 20 villagers close to the border with South Sudan, Ugandan police said today, expressing fears they were captured by a militia from their war-torn neighbour.

The rare attack took place in the early hours of Tuesday in the Yumbe district of Uganda’s northern West Nile region, which lies close to the porous border with South Sudan.

“Police received the information that 20 civilians were abducted by suspected militia members from South Sudan,” local police chief Ignatius Otong told AFP.

He did not say why a South Sudan group was suspected, but said Uganda security forces were working with their counterparts across the border.

“The group responsible for abducting will pay and the abducted will be rescued,” Otong said.

Civil war erupted in South Sudan in December 2013 but rebel chief Riek Machar returned to the capital last month as part of a peace deal which saw him becoming vice-president and forging a unity government with President Salva Kiir.

However, fighting continues among multiple militia forces who now pay no heed to either Kiir or Machar. — AFP