KENYAN TRUCK drivers suspend cargo trips to South Sudan, say two drivers were killed near Juba on Sunday evening
Two Kenyan truck drivers were killed while driving cargo to South Sudan on Sunday evening.
Five trucks were attacked by unknown individuals at approximately 5.30pm. Two Kenyans also died. Three other truck drivers had to flee their homes.
According to the group’s members, the constant attacks against their drivers and vandalism at their trucks is causing them to lose many lives and resulting in the loss of vehicles and goods.
Dennis Ombok (Kenya Transporters Association) Chief Executive Officer stated that two Kenyans, and a Ugandan driver, had not been located by Monday morning. He also said that the vandals had damaged their trucks.
Newton Wang’oo the chairperson of KTA issued a statement on Monday advising its more than 5,000 members that they should stop shipping cargo to South Sudan.
The statement said that the increased lawlessness, insecurity along Nimule Juba highway has led to several drivers being killed and trucks burning or vandalized. We advise all transporters not be risking the lives of their drivers by continuing to offer South Sudanese transport services. South Sudan remains highly volatile.”
Mr Wang’oo urged people already on route to deliver the goods the Elegu border customs yard. He asked that the South Sudanese government immediately take steps to protect drivers.
He also demanded that Juba compensate the victims of the recent attack on their properties and lives. KTA had expressed concern over the death of a Kenyan motorist while traveling to Juba a month prior.
As a result, there have been many attacks along the highway. KTA has now suspended its services twice this year due to insecurity.
Mombasa Port has been the main port used for South Sudan. Data from Kenya Ports Authority shows it is second in volume of cargo imported through its port to Uganda.
Armed men demanded thousands as ransom to kidnap two Ugandan drivers and kill two more along Juba Nimule Road in October 2013. Three Ugandan motorists were killed along Juba-Kaya Highway, in May.
Two Kenyans were shot and killed while driving trucks carrying goods to South Sudan.
KTA started carrying cargo again after South Sudan and Kenyan governments assured that they were safe.
The Uganda Embassy warned foreign drivers against entering South Sudan. After lengthy negotiations between South Sudanese and Uganda authorities, they agreed to have the drivers escorted by South Sudanese troops to protect their safety.
The agreement resulted in a massive accumulation of goods at Elegu borders, while Juba stock was running low.
Two Catholic reverends and three travelers were killed in a road ambush that occurred last week along Juba Nimule highway.