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South Sudan, Uganda vow to fight human trafficking

By Awan Achiek

South Sudan and neighboring Uganda have agreed to work together to counter human trafficking across their porous borders.

Gen. Atem Marol Biar, South Sudan’s Director General for Nationality, Passport and Immigration, revealed on Monday that officials from the two countries recently discussed issues of human trafficking along their common borders.

Biar recently led the South Sudan delegation that visited the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control in Kampala.

He disclosed that 30 percent of the Ugandan nationals are are living illegally in South Sudan without proper documents.

“Last time when we conducted registration, we found out that 30 percent of Ugandans living in South Sudan are without proper documents,” said Biar.

Maj. Gen Apollo Kasiita Gowa, Uganda’s Director of Citizenship and Immigration Control, said the two countries should facilitate free movement of people along their borders.

South Sudan and Uganda are members of the East African Community (EAC) that includes Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and new entrant Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Under the Customs Union Protocol of the EAC Treaty, all member countries are supposed to allow unrestricted movement of people and goods across their borders.

“It is imperative that we organize ourselves better especially now that South Sudan has joined East African Community,” said Gowa.

“At the same time there are also a lot of advantages to be gained in partnership with South Sudan in terms of agriculture, exchange of ideas and technology,” he added.

 On 23rd May 2013, the UN migration agency (IOM) assisted five children who were victims of human trafficking in South Sudan to return to Uganda.

The children had been forced to sell goods on the streets in Juba.

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