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Pibor decries costly air transport, urges Jonglei to end blockade

Author: Elshiekh Chol Ajeing | Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Pibor Administrative Area map. (File)

An official in the Pibor Administrative Area has reiterated calls on Jonglei State government to reopen the road linking the area with Bor and Juba, which is allegedly rendered unsafe by armed youth.

Pibor Information Minister Abraham Kelang Jiji claims armed youth from Jonglei State have since blocked the road over inter-communal conflicts.

Kelang, the administrative area’s government spokesperson said the entire area has been depending on expensive flights to transport commercial and humanitarian packages from Juba in the last five months.

“Since the road is closed for five months now, we have been struggling to talk to the government of Jonglei, so that they talk to their youth and the road to be open, but people from the side of Jonglei did nothing up to now,” he told Eye Radio from Pibor town.

“We are staying currently without roads, so currently what we have the traders come through a flight from Juba direct to Pibor, to the government of national level is that the issue of road between Jonglei and GPA is currently off, maybe national level is to come to solve this and tackle the issue of roads.”

In December 2022, a renewed communal conflict erupted between armed youth from Jonglei and Pibor – leading to the blockage on movement through the Bor-Gadiang highway.

The escalated fighting also displaced 30,000 thousand people, according to a UN report.

When asked, the Jonglei state police commissioner Major General Elia Costa denied the allegation that armed youth from the state have closed the road.

Instead, General Costa said torrential rainfall has made the road connecting the two areas in impassable.

“I can deny that one  that is the youth close the roads here, as I have mentioned to you during the rainy season the vehicles and trucks cannot access the road,” he told Eye Radio.

“During the dry season, there was some ambush on the road, but we managed to address it and people were moving to greater Pibor, so during this time the reason of the closer of the road is rain season.”

 

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