• No_Ads
Ugandan traders thriving despite harassment in South SudanPublish Date: Dec 14, 2013
Ugandan traders thriving despite harassment in South Sudan
  • mail
  • img

By Umaru Kashaka

Trade between Uganda and South Sudan has grown from $5m (about sh12b) in 2002 to $392m (about sh980b) in 2011.

There was also an attempt by the Ugandan Government to construct a market in Juba to take part in the trade, but it encountered legal and financial problems, which eventually saw the land that had been allocated to Uganda re-allocated to another developer by the Equatorial state.

 It is against this background that legislators on the foreign affairs committee have asked the Government to engage South Sudan in the fi ght against harassment and indiscriminate assault of Ugandan traders by South Sudanese.

The committee, which held a meeting on Tuesday to consider its draft report on the recent working visits to Uganda’s missions abroad, noted that although the two countries enjoy strong bilateral and diplomatic relations, Ugandans in South Sudan continue to face hostile reception, harassment, violence and death.

“Although we partly attribute this to the weak government institutions in South Sudan since the country is emerging from a long period of war, we have appealed to our foreign ministry to engage its counterpart so that it can prevail over this violence and harassment of our people,” the committee chairperson and Vurra county MP, Sam Okuonzi, told New Vision.

The committee further learnt from the foreign affairs ministry that there is a commission engaging in discussions with the local authorities in Moyo district on suggestions of re-demarcating the border.

“The South Sudanese are accused of occupying the equivalent of one sub-county deep inside Uganda, and the local authorities are hostile to any suggestion of re-demarcating the border,” he said.

Okuonzi said the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga would also be meeting the South Sudan’s Ambassador to Uganda Samuel Luate over the matter so as to forge the way forward.

“The Speaker said she will soon hold discussions with the ambassador over the matter. We want this issue to be handled urgently because our people are suffering,” he said.

Legislators also said despite the many Ugandan traders in South Sudan, there are also many Ugandan idlers in the country and some of whom could be criminals.

Meanwhile, a group of Ugandan traders have dragged fi ve members of the East African Community to a regional court, seeking to block South Sudan’s entry into the bloc. The traders through, Uganda Traders Association of South Sudan, argued in a suit filed in October.  

He said that South Sudan’s national government, the state governments and several infl uential individuals in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) owe members of his association $14.8m, which they allegedly declined to pay. “We need to be paid. We need justice.

There are several traders who supplied goods in South Sudan but have not been paid. South Sudan should also improve on its human rights record,” he said. “In some instances, we have clear cases with clear judgments by South Sudan courts ordering that we be paid, but these judgments have not been enforced by the South Sudan government.

It is the reason we have gone to the East African Court of Justice,” he added. South Sudan, which applied for entry into the EAC in 2011 immediately after acquiring independence, is yet to hear from the community about the matter.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Africa’s economy resilient - World Bank
Economic activity in Sub- Saharan Africa remained robust in 2013, highlighting a significant increase in capital inflows and net direct foreign investment (FDI) inflows...
Uganda woos American, Canadian tourists
Tourism promoters are on a charm offensive wooing travel agents and tourists from North America to enable them get the actual on-ground reality about Uganda as a peaceful and beautiful travel destination....
ISO to recall certificates over decline in standards
The international organisation for standardisation (ISO) is to recall certificates of organisations and companies in Uganda that fail to sustain international standards....
What the 2014/2015 budget offers to farmers
The Government has demarcated the country into various agricultural zones to promote particular agricultural products for commercial purposes to boost household incomes....
The raging war for EAC air space
A five minutes visit of Entebbe International Airport is a revelation of a raging war for the airspace between Kenya Airways (KQ ), Ethiopian Airlines, Air Uganda and the Gulf giants comprising Emirates, Qatar, Air Arabia and Fly Dubai, which enjoy unlimited market access from African governments....
Slow infrastructure development frustrates Namanve investors
Investors are agitated by the lack of coordination between government agencies and the slow progress of fixing the wanting infrastructure in gazetted industrial parks....
WIll the national ID registration process be completed in the scheduled 4 months timeframe?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter