Uganda Gov’t issues serious warning for travelers to South Sudan

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Uganda government warned it's nationals to be cautious against travelling to South Sudan; Courtesy Photo

The government of Uganda has advised it’s nationals to exercise extreme caution as they travel to South Sudan following a spate of murders across the common border.

The warning follows recent attacks on Ugandans inside South Sudan resulting into deaths of 8 people. The latest killings took place at different times on 29th March 2021 when Ugandans were killed in cold blood along Yei-Juba route.

In a statement issued by the Foreign Affairs ministry, the Government of Uganda expressed “serious concern” to the South Sudan government over the killings and appealed for restoration of security along routes to Juba to facilitate safe movement of persons, goods and services.

“In the meantime, the government of Uganda advises it’s nationals to exercise extreme caution as they travel to South Sudan. They should note that violent crime such as car jacking, shootings, assaults, ambushes, robberies and kidnappings have taken place in South Sudan particularly Oraba-Kaya-Yei-Juba road” the statement partly reads.

“Government of Uganda condemns in the strongest terms possible the reckless murder of Ugandans” it adds. The identities of the dead are however yet to be divulged.

Government of Uganda also noted that engagements are ongoing between two governments to facilitate the return of bodies of the deceased Ugandans.

The Koboko Resident District Commissioner, Mr Sazir Mayanja, said the deceased include drivers and businessmen who landed in an ambush.

“I can confirm that four people who were heading to Juba from Koboko District were gunned down and their bodies are at Ganji. At least 13 people who were passengers have been rescued and all are under the government of South Sudan,” he said.

South Sudan had turned a lucrative place for business that attracted businessmen from Ethiopia, Uganda, Eritrea, Kenya and DR Congo after signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

However, the business has been dented by insecurity that cropped in South Sudan and led to attacks on foreign traders who were accused by locals of hijacking their businesses.

But during a cross border meeting early this month, Mr Emmanuel Adil, the governor for South Sudan Central Equatoria state, said the absence of the local government structure on the South Sudan side has hindered their relations with Uganda.

Last month, three Ugandans and five South Sudan fishermen were also killed by unknown gunmen from South Sudan in Moyo District.

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