No agreement was achieved between South Sudan and Uganda on Nimule-Juba highway patrol, South Sudan Deputy minister said as the strike drags on
The government has denied striking an agreement with Uganda on cooperative security escort for truckers along the Juba-Nimule Road amid a strike that had held goods intended for the nation at the Elegu one-stop border check for the last nine days.
NCMP reported last week according to a report we obtained that the two nations had agreed to create a combined security patrol along the 191 km length roadway.
In an article on a Ugandan-based popular website, Chimereport, obtained by NCMP, the article quoted the Ugandan First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs Rebecca Kadaga as stating the security forces from both nations had agreed to set up a joint patrol at every 10-kilomentre mark to protect the movement of drivers.
But the South Sudan Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Deng Dau Deng claimed in a report by a South Sudanese base news website, Jubamonitor that no such preparations were made, emphasizing that, ensuring security along the route was the duty of the government of South Sudan.
“We have no new arrangement on combined security escort with Uganda along the route. It is the full duty of the government of South Sudan; it is patrolling and escorting these trucks that are going to South Sudan,” he emphasized.
According to the report seen by NCMP Truck drivers from Kenya, Uganda and other East African nations went on a strike parking hundreds of vehicles at the Elegu border crossing to protest the murders of colleagues by unknown gunmen along the Juba-Nimule route last month.
Following the killing of two Kenyan drivers and the torching of their automobiles on August 22, 2021, a joint force comprised of the SSPDF, National Police Service, and National Security Service was deployed to smoke out the criminals pestering users of the country’s primary highway.
Despite assurances from South Sudan’s Inspector General of Police, General MajakAkecMalok, who was directing the operation aimed at clearing out the bandits along the road, the East African drivers continued their strike.
When asked about efforts to persuade strike truckers to resume transporting goods to the country in order to avoid a supply shortage, National Police Deputy Spokesperson James DakKarlo said IGP Majak Akec was meeting with ambassadors from Uganda and Kenya, among others, to address the looming crisis.
The IGP broached that efforts are being made to remedy the issue, he mentioned that he is channeling his efforts through the foreign affairs ministry meeting with the embassies of Kenya and Uganda.