Traders, truckers seek protection from attacks in South Sudan

Monday February 05 2024

Sudanese drivers stay by their trucks near the Port Sudan, Sudan on October 6, 2021. PHOTO | AFP


Traders and long distance drivers have expressed concerns over increasing insecurity in South Sudan.

Recent attacks that left four drivers killed and 64 others arrested, have caused panic among traders and transporters.

South Sudan freight forwarders operating in Juba, Mombasa and the entire transit corridor said violence, abuse and violations of human rights by rebels have affected supply of essential items in the country.

“Attacks and more so, the killing of innocent drivers on January 18 in Kano Keji, Central Equatoria, in an area close to the border with Uganda’s Moyo District is a serious issue, which needs to be addressed.

Read: 39 killed in South Sudan communal clashes

Also, the killing of drivers supplying Unmiss with essential items in Unity State around Mayom County close to Bentiu has raised concern to traders who depend on the route,” said Emmanuel Kachoul, chairman of South Sudan Freight Forwarders in Mombasa port.


“Unfortunately, the attack also led to the unlawful detention of drivers. As an association and business community, we are in solidarity with those lost their kin,” said Mr Kachoul.

Mr Kachoul called on regional security apparatus to work on a system that will protect drivers on the Northern Corridor.

“The attempt to attack innocent people or truck drivers slows down the flow of goods from Mombasa Port to other hinterland destinations, thus killing businesses and derailing the region’s economic growth. Truck drivers have a key economic impact in our region, as every country depends on them for delivery of consumables,” Mr Kachoul said.

Kenya Long Distance Drivers Association chairman Roman Waema said those killed and arrested were Kenyans.

“After consultation, 64 drivers who were arrested by armed forces and detained in the South Sudan cities of Bor and Bentiu for protesting the killing of their colleagues were released, but we are asking governments on the Northern Corridor to ensure the security of drivers,” Mr Waema said.

South Sudan depends on Kenya’s port of Mombasa for both import and export, transporting over one million tonnes of cargo in a year.