KILLINGS-Of foreign drivers barbaric
By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto
The chairman of South Sudan Freight Forwarders Association and BusinessCommunity (SSFFA) Emmanuel Kachoul yesterday strongly condemned the killing of Truck drivers along Juba-Nimule highway in the past few days terming the act as barbaric meant to deny the country the much needed items and basic commodities.
In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor,Kachoul described the killing of foreign truck drivers as inhumane and unacceptable in a civilized society.
“I strongly condemn the barbaric, criminal and idiotic acts of murder that have been committed to the drivers and a section of our business community that serve our motherland South Sudan,” Emmanuel said.
Last week, five people were shot and killed near Ame-Junction at Kit Twovillage on Nimule road.
Mr. Emmanuel revealed that authorities in Kenya, Tanzania and their counterparts in Juba were working to resolve the deadly attacks and killings along highways across the world’s youngest Nation.
“We are working together with our neighbouring countries to ensure the safety of these drivers who bring food for our citizens,” Emmanuel added. He said the frequent attack on foreign drivers indeed reflected a negative picture of “our country” in the eyes of the neighbouring sister states that have for a long time been our trading partners.
He revealed that he had personally been in contact with relevant authorities and his counterparts both here in the country and of those affected drivers with a view of finding a lasting solution to the problem, adding some of the commodities were perishable and could not be replaced while others might go to waste if the situation was not arrested. (see page.9)
In another development, a business man in Motoyo market in Nimule –Eastern Equatoria State Peter AringGodolinya yesterday also said South Sudan could run out of essential items if Ugandan and Kenyan truck drivers don’t call off the protest over safety concerns in the world’s youngest Country.
He said the average prices of goods in Motoyo market have doubled since last week,”he said.
“We have seen them protesting at the Border here in Checkpoint, we cannot blame them because they also fear death,
“Just within two days prices have gone high, what about one week,” peter asked.
Peter also appealed to the business communities across the country not to take the protests of the drivers as an opportunity to cheat citizens.
Hundreds of trucks delivering essential commodities to Juba have been parked at the Elegu border on the Ugandan side as drivers await assurances from the Ugandan government.
The Juba-Nimule highway remains the only paved transport route connecting South Sudan to the neighbouring countries of Uganda and Kenya.
Designated in 2007 and completed in 2012, the 192 km long tarmacked road is the major import route through which the country receive tons of thousands of imported goods.
According to MesheckMalo, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization Country director, South Sudan imported about 875000 metric tons of food mainly from East Africa last year.
Huge quantity of these food supplies reached the country through the Juba-Nimule highway.
Other essential commodities such as fuel, medicamentsand electrical appliances, building materials, beverages and cars are supplied to Juba and other cities across the country every day via the Juba-Nimule highway.