Two Detained in Northern Uganda for Alleged Human Trafficking of South Sudanese Nationals
Adjumani District, Uganda — Police in Adjumani District, Northern Uganda, have apprehended two individuals as part of an investigation into a suspected human trafficking ring that allegedly smuggled eight South Sudanese nationals into Uganda.
The suspects, identified as Maguek Machar, a South Sudanese refugee at Ocea Refugee Settlement in Madi-Okollo District, and Salih Yonsif, a 42-year-old resident of Tanganyika Cell in Oli Division, Arua City, were arrested for their alleged involvement in human trafficking on October 4, 2023, according to Fred Enanga, the spokesperson of the Uganda Police Force.
During a media briefing in Kampala, Enanga reported that the suspects were intercepted in the Sinyanya Village, located in Maaji Parish, Ukusijoni Sub-County, Adjumani District, while traveling in a Toyota Noah vehicle with registration number SSD 532M. In addition to the two suspects, the vehicle was carrying other occupants, including Ibrahim Sana Siddige (48), Adam Ali Samar (27), Adam Ali Younies Tanga (23), and four minors whose names were withheld. The minors were between the ages of 10 and 17 years. Investigations revealed that all the victims were male and had been trafficked from Nyala in South Darfur.
Enanga explained, “The suspects convinced the victims that they would help them acquire a better life with ease. However, we have handed the victims over to the Office of the Prime Minister for further assistance, while the suspects will be charged with trafficking in persons.”
Human trafficking is a serious concern in Uganda, with statistics indicating that out of 1,200 reported incidents, at least 526 individuals are subjected to exploitation within the country, while 63 are exploited abroad.
A 2023 report on human trafficking in Uganda by the United States highlighted that the government initiated prosecutions against alleged traffickers in 589 cases involving 728 individuals in 2022, compared to prosecuting 537 individuals in 403 cases in 2021. The report also noted that corruption and official complicity in trafficking crimes remained significant concerns, hindering law enforcement actions. Human trafficking continues to be a pressing issue, and efforts are being made to combat it in Uganda.
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