S. Sudan Gov’t needs to look inwards as prices soar as a result of insecurity on Major highways
The insecurity on the major highways in South Sudan is having a negative effect on consumers and traders in South Sudan major towns. The drivers and traders who import consumables and non-consumables goods are no longer safe on the road and most of the residents living in this affected towns are experiencing hardship.
In Yei town, for instance, there has been a sharp increase in the prices of basic food commodities. According to most residents, life is getting worse. Most can’t afford their basic needs any longer based on insecurity in the surrounding villages and highways.
Though recently, South Sudan’s army has announced plans to deploy troops along the country’s trade lifeline following a surge in highway crimes. The SSPDF announced that soldiers will now be stationed along the roads connecting Juba to Nimule, to Yei up to Kaya –to ensure safe passage for travelers and commercial goods. The objective is to address the persistent insecurity along the trade corridors.
Another issue is that some traders in some towns within South Sudan are also capitalizing on the insecurity within the country and hike prices unnecessarily and abnormally.
Though looking at the whole situation critically, there is a fundamental problem that the government has failed to address and one can say that the government created this whole problem.
South Sudan government lacks a national strategic plan that will allow the government to control its economy in a turmoil region where instability is the norm.
South Sudan being a landlocked country, its leaders were supposed to have planned strategically to ensure smooth flow of goods and services into the country without hindrance or extortion from any external power. The logical thing to do as a government, in a region that is plagues with insecurity and unrest, is to own a the means of transportation of goods and services into the country. In 2005-6, one billion USD could have been sufficient to secure for our country over ten thousand different types of trucks, and warehouses all operated and managed by South Sudanese.
But unfortunately today, South Sudan now depend on the drivers and trucks owners from our neighbors to supply the country with goods and services, and this in turn is affecting the survival of the country. No country is an island, that is clear, but every country needs to fight for its survival first, and that can only only be done if the country has a strategic plan and a strong leadership to implement it.
What South Sudan is experiencing now is the consequence of a myopic and poor thinking of the government, the government and the leaders of the country didn’t strategically envisioned that others could become the controllers of the South Sudan’s economy and monopolist suppliers of the country’s food. A landlocked country like South Sudan, that its leaders willingly surrender its economy to be managed and ran by foreigners (fuel supply, import of construction materials, daily supply of water, supply of all types of food items, use of foreign means of transportation etc); such nation, its people and leaders should not complain when molested and become a regional political toys.
South Sudan needs to strategically reposition itself and learn to solve its own problem because in the region it is clear that it is the “survival of the fittest”. The country needs to re-think and have a thorough analysis of the situation at hand.
Not only does the government need to solve the insecurity problem, but much more the government needs to find a way to own its economy and control the supply of its food locally, regionally, or internationally sourced.