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Kenyan drivers promised safe movements on unsafe road

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Photo taken on August 24, 2021 of trucks connecting to South Sudan

The Kenyan Embassy in South Sudan says it has received security assurances from Juba following the killing of truckers along the Juba-Nimule highway.

On Sunday, two Kenyan truck drivers were shot dead by bandits along the road.

Two weeks ago, four travelers – including two catholic nuns – were killed on the same highway.

A truck driver also knocked dead a boda-boda rider while fleeing the scene of the attack.

On Monday, the Kenyan Transporters Association advised all its drivers to suspend their movements to South Sudan.

It told the truck drivers not to risk their lives by continuing to deliver goods and services to South Sudan.

In April 2021, at least 11 truck drivers were killed in the country and their vehicles burnt or vandalized.

South Sudan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deng Dau, expressed the government’s regrets over the death of the two Kenyan nationals.

“I convey our condolences to the families of these two drivers, and to the government and people of Kenya on the sad incident,” he said after a meeting with the ambassador.

“We condemn the barbaric killing of innocent drivers while doing their job.”

In a statement issued on Monday, the Kenyan Transporters Association insisted that there was currently no security assurance as South Sudan is highly volatile.

It instructed the drivers who are already en route to South Sudan to drop their goods at the customs yard at the Elegu border.

The association further called on the government of South Sudan to immediately take measures to protect the drivers and their trucks already in the country.

However, the Kenyan Ambassador has assured its nationals that the road is now secure for trucks to deliver goods.

“I want to tell all the Kenyans to feel at home and know that they are in secure hands as they travel between Nimule and Juba as the government is taking care of the security,” Amb. Samuel Nandwa told SSBC.

A joint security team has been sent to map out locations where criminals often launch attacks on travelers along the Juba-Nimule highway, the National Police Service said on Monday.

However, the road has had a number of security forces deployed to keep it safe, especially at Obama village, Ashwa and Jebeleen areas, according to officials and travelers.

Some travelers have often accused soldiers of mounting illegal checkpoints they used to extort money from motorists, especially truckers.

Despite this, media outlets continue to report insecurity incidents along the important road.

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