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South Sudan NGO boss arrested in Lira over illegal possession of a gun

Police in Lira District are holding Moris Okwir, a staff of a South Sudanese Non-Governmental Organization, John Dau Foundation (JDF), over illegal possession of firearms.
Information obtained by this reporter indicate that Okwir, a resident of Starch Factory, Adyel Division in Lira Municipality has been working in South Sudan with JDF as a programmes director.

Intelligence and police Flying Squad team arrested Okwir, 39, on Sunday night following a tip-off by a concerned resident that he was in possession of a rifle.

During interrogation, Okwir told police that he had legally bought the gun from someone in an open market in South Sudan for his personal security.

According to police a charge of illegal possession of firearms with case file CRB 12/33/2018 has been preferred against him as they continue with their investigations.

Mr David Ongom Mudong, the North Kiyoga regional police spokesperson said: “The suspect admitted and directed us to where he was hiding the firearm. We found a 9MM Pistol model; BLOW P99 A CALL with serial NO. 8-002377 loaded with 4 rounds of live ammunitions,” Mr Ongom said.

Although he claimed he legally acquired the firearm from South Sudan, police have said it was illegal in Uganda since he was not registered.

“That is illegal, the law only permits security agencies to possess firearms, however, individuals who wish to acquire firearms should follow the right procedures as required by the Ugandan law within the Firearms Act,” Mr Ongom added.

When Daily Monitor contacted JDF president, Mr Deng Dhieu Leek, he confirmed that Mr Okwir was the organization’s employee.

“It is true he is an employee of John Dau Foundation and we are trying to seek possible links to communicate to the Ugandan security about his personality,” Mr Deng wrote in an email.

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