JUBA – Ugandan and Kenyan truck drivers carrying goods but who are stuck at border point near Nimule have set preconditions for proceeding to deliver goods to South Sudan saying they won’t travel to Juba until when the government clear the forests along the highways and when the regional bloc IGAD provide security escorts.
In a press conference at the border entry to Nimule town on Monday morning, the drivers said the forests and bushes around the highway hide attackers and also demanded that compensations for the losses incurred, including for vehicles which were set ablaze, during last month’s highway attack.
“Our demands includes, one provisions of security to humanity and goods in all parts of South Sudan that include escort for drivers from IGAD and clearing of bushes around highway that hides enemies and compensation for all losses suffered by our families of all drivers who were killed including goods and vehicles burnt in South Sudan,” one of the truckers reading out the truckers’ statement said.
The truck driver also accused members of South Sudan army of intimidating the drivers along the highway and said the drivers have always been forced to carry heavy loads including logs and charcoal to Juba by members of the organized forces urging the government to stop that practice.
“They must also stop extortion of money from all drivers which brings beating, intimidation harassment of drivers along the highway of Nimule-Juba road. We also call for removal of all road blocks along the highway of Nimule-Juba road which force the drivers to carry logs and charcoals by military officers especially in Aswa Bridge, Moli, Toguro and Obama,” he said.
The drivers called for the removal of well-known military officers who they accused of intimidating and robbing them along the highway and said they won’t proceed to Juba if the government of South Sudan does not meet the demands.
“We also need the removal of recognized officers who have been creating insecurity along the Juba highway. So those are out demands and that are the crimes against the drivers and these are what drivers need to be stopped,” they said.
“Until when the government of South Sudan finished all these demands, then drivers will be free, will be ready to travel to inside South Sudan thank you,” they said.