The ongoing national population census activities in parts of Moyo district has been suspended indefinitely over a border dispute with authorities in South Sudan.
At the centre of the dispute is Wano Village in Moyo Sub County with both Uganda and South Sudan claiming its ownership.
The suspension came after armed South Sudanese put barricades stopping the enumerators and local council one officials from conducting the exercise in the area.
On Friday the leaders of Moyo district and their counterparts of Kajo-Keji County in South Sudan visited the area and resolved that no more census activities be carried out. The enumeration area affected is located 15 kilometers inside Uganda.
Paul Maiku, the Moyo district vice chairperson, says the occurrence of the problem is unfortunate. Maiku says the actions of the South Sudanese soldiers are hampering service delivery in the affected areas.
He has challenged the district leaders and officials from Kajo Keji County to communicate to the respective heads of state to sort out the mess so that the exercise can resume peacefully.
Andrew Tiondi, the Zonal supervisor for West Nile region, says it is unfortunate that a national exercise has been halted by people who do not understand the implication on the national planning.
He says the two presidents should have pronounced themselves on the issues of border dispute a long time ago. He prays that a decision is taken soon so that the exercise can commence. He says for now, the census exercise in Wano village has been put off.
Kala Henry Sabuni, the commissioner of Kajo-Keji County in South Sudan said he would not allow the enumerators to conduct any activities before getting any communication from the two heads of state.
Kala says it’s not a secret that the area under contention is inhabited by the South Sudanese. He says it will be wrong to count the people from South Sudan as Ugandans.
Moyo Resident District Commissioner John Abingwa promised to follow up the issue with the President Museveni.
This week, a 16 member delegation from South Sudan met with their Ugandan counterparts to discuss the issue of border conflicts between the two countries. The meeting took place in WAPA Auditorium at Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.