In South Sudan, road ambushes are on the rise, and merchants cry for help.
Over the weekend, a group of South Sudanese merchants expressed alarm as the security situation along roads deteriorated, making it harder to move products and people to states.
Over the weekend, a motorist using the Juba-Yei route reported being ambushed numerous times by gangs of armed young men, resulting in the loss of property belonging to passengers he was transporting.
In the past, the Juba-Yei route was secure for drivers and motorists who transported products for commercial purposes, but we have noted that some drivers have been assaulted on multiple occasions, resulting in loss of commodities, beatings of passengers, and, most pathetic of all, burning of cars. We are now concerned about using the route on a daily basis due to the passive insecurity,” the motorist said.
He said that a gang of armed individuals had been hiding out in most bushes, launching assaults on roadways annexing Juba City to the States, and transporting passengers and critical commercial supplies.
He said that armed men had mostly targeted merchants, who were renowned for delivering basic necessities such as consumer goods to finance their demands that they could not get in the wilderness.
He noted that, despite the presence of government-deployed troops along the highways, nothing has been experienced, particularly by merchants and drivers who have taken risks to access the roadways in order to deliver what was intended for the poor.
Another major supplier of drug items to the ten states stated that many clinics and hospitals in some of the states faced challenges due to a lack of drugs for most patients admitted, with a number of fatal cases being registered as a result of threats and attacks against merchants in most high ways annexing Juba city to the states.
He went on to say that until the government maintained road infrastructure by providing continuous security services without regard for self-interest, commodities supply would stagnate and inhabitants in the states would stay desperate.
Based on our experience, many clinics and hospitals in some of the States have faced challenges due to a lack of drugs for the majority of patients admitted, and a number of fatal cases have been registered as a result of threats and attacks launched against merchants in the most high-profile ways annexing Juba to the States.
“Unless the government improves road infrastructure and provides constant security services without regard for self-interest, commodities supply will stagnate and residents in the states will stay desperate,” John continued.
Finally, merchants encouraged the government to concentrate on enhancing road security so that they could deliver services to needy individuals in the states.