Truck drivers don’t want the SSPDF patrolling the roadway, say there is a lot of checkpoints and extortion on the Juba-Nimule highway.
The government has said that it is dedicated to ensuring security for truck drivers and other travelers along the Juba-Nimule Highway, as well as reducing extortion.
For the 13th day in a row, commercial truck drivers have refused to enter South Sudan, alleging arbitrary murders and highway banditry. The freight truck drivers claim they do not trust the security guarantees given by South Sudanese troops.
It is also claimed that the negotiations collapsed when the SSDF, who had traveled to Elegu for the talks, refused to enter the Ugandan side unarmed.
This led Kenyan and Ugandan drivers to seek a combined security escort from Uganda and South Sudan, a request that Juba rejected. “We don’t want the SSPDF patrolling the roadway. “I was ambushed and fired at, and my turn boy was killed,” a Ugandan trucker told NTV Uganda over the weekend.
“First and foremost, there are many checkpoints. Money extortion is common, as are kidnappings. So, even if they discussed security, I’m fairly confident they didn’t discuss extortion and other criminal actions on the road.”
According to a statement published on Monday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, a combined team of the SSPDF and police would protect all passengers.
It states that any roadblocks that create delays must be eliminated. The strike started late last month in response to the deaths of two Kenyan freight drivers. The effect of the 11-day strike is already being felt in South Sudan, with commodity prices skyrocketing.
A liter of fuel, which was 300 pounds last week, is now 500 pounds. Other products are likewise gradually increasing in price. A similar strike by freight truck drivers in April 2021 disrupted commerce and increased market prices throughout the nation.
After the SSPDF placed troops along the highways linking Juba to Nimule, and Yei up to Kaya — to guarantee safe passage for passengers and commercial products – the truck drivers called off their protest. It is unclear how this agreement was terminated.
South Sudan, a landlocked nation, relies nearly completely on imports, the majority of which come from Kenya and Uganda.