The government of South Sudan has agreed to offer full military security to all road users, including Ugandan truck drivers, starting this week on the Juba – Nimule highway.
This was achieved during a meeting between the South Sudanese government and Ugandan authorities on Friday at the Elegu one-stop border point in the Amuru district of northern Uganda.
Senior security officials from both countries met to discuss deteriorating security on major highways in South Sudan, where eight Ugandan truck drivers have been shot dead by armed men in the past few weeks.
The high-level Sudanese delegation was led by the General of the Defense Forces of the Country, General Johnson Juma, Inspector General of Police, General Mayak Akech, and General Akol Khor, Director General for Homeland Security.
The Deputy Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority, the Hon. Africano Mande, was also present, along with four East African ambassadors.
On the other hand, Uganda’s delegation was headed, among others, by AIGP Edward Ochom, Director of Criminal Police, Colonel Damulira.
“We concluded our two-day meetings with Ugandan authorities, one after the other, including the drivers who later agreed to resume normal operations,” said the South Sudanese authorities.
“And as a government, we assure them full safety on the main highways in the Republic of South Sudan and the removal of illegal roadblocks and checkpoints for easy truck transport to Juba and other cities in the country.”
Last week truck drivers from across the East African region protested against the increasing insecurity in South Sudan, against illegal taxes and also called for compensation for their deceased colleagues.
They parked their trucks on the Elegu border and called on both governments to intervene before the situation worsened.
Regarding the compensation, the Sudanese authorities agreed to pay for the victims, but said the process would be discussed by the foreign ministries of both countries.
Although traders had also asked Ugandan authorities, and in this case the UPDF, to escort their goods to South Sudan, Lt. Col Deo Akiki said: “This cannot be a decision of the UPDF. South Sudan is a sovereign state, so anything currently being done on its territory must be a bilateral matter that transcends the two forces. It is a government to government issue. “
ChimpReports assumes that some trucks left the border from Elegu to Juba on Saturday under full security escort.