JUBA – South Sudan’s information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth has said the world’s youngest country is facing the disadvantage of being one of the landlocked nations on earth after neighboring countries blocked entry of goods over highway insecurity in South Sudan.
“What has happened is that our neighbors here have decided to block, lock, or close their boundaries for cars that are coming in with goods, fuel or any other goods. This is the one responsible for the current scarcity of fuel and other items in the market,” Makuei told reporters following a weekly cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday.
Truck drivers from Uganda and Kenya heading to South Sudan with goods have struck at the border between the countries following last month’s highway attack in which five travelers including some east African citizens said to be Ugandans and Kenyans were killed along with two catholic nuns.
The governments of Kenya and Uganda have since prevented their citizens from crossing to South Sudan over the insecurity with senior government officials in Kampala urging the government of President Yoweri Museveni to provide security escort for Ugandan citizens travelling to South Sudan and to also evacuate Ugandan citizens in South Sudan.
“We are talking with our neighbors so that they open up their borders. This is the disadvantage of a country which is landlocked and as such we are talking with these people. We have already controlled the roads and the Ugandans and the people who have decided not to come, we will assure them that the road is protected and they will be moving,” Minister Makuei said.
“If they continue to refuse, then we will decide what to do. And these are the problems of not diversifying the routes of entry and exit. If we had other routes, nobody would close it but because we have only one route, this is why we are being put under that pressure,” the senior government official further added.