East Africa

Long distance truckers name 24 colleagues killed by gunmen in South Sudan

The leadership of the Long-Distance Heavy Truck Drivers Associations in Uganda and Kenya have profiled 24 colleagues who were killed by gunmen while delivering cargo in South Sudan.

The leadership of the Long-Distance Heavy Truck Drivers Associations in Uganda and Kenya have profiled 24 colleagues who were killed by gunmen while delivering cargo in South Sudan.

A provisional list that dates back to 2013, includes names of 10 Eritrean nationals, eight Kenyans and six Ugandans. The Ugandans include among others, Hajj Makanga Abdu, a Ugandan long-distance driver who was shot dead with his son Umar Ssembuse, aboard truck number UAH 151R, which was burnt at Ganjji-Yeri road in March 2021.

The others are Musa Baguma, who was driving truck number UAH 195M, and was shot dead between Nesitu and Jebelin on February 13, 2021, Qurashi Mutebi, truck number UAQ 466, and Hussein Katongole-truck number UAS 470S who were all shot dead and their trucks burnt at Ganjji-Yeri road, Musa Kalyowa, the driver of truck registration number UBH 026C who was shot dead at Jebelin and Dada Abugo who was shot dead in March 2021.

Sud Mwatela, the chairperson of the East African Truckers said the verification and compilation is still partial because many of the colleagues whose lives were lost as a result of armed violence in South Sudan remain unaccounted for. Mwatela says they are also tracking the damages and losses incurred to cover transit goods looted from the trucks and left vandalized burnt down by the assailants.

The chairman of Uganda Long-Distance and Heavy Truck Drivers Association, Stephen Muhwezi, says they will lobby South Sudan and world bodies until their compensation demands are addressed.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union in Uganda, Usher Wilson Owere says that the plight of the truckers remains contentious and that needs the intervention of the East African bloc to resolve the insecurity on foreign truckers in South Sudan.

Speaking to URN from the South Sudan capital Juba, Daniel Deng, the Chairman of the South Sudan Clearing Agency & Freight Forwarders Association explained that the truckers significantly contribute to the economy of the conflict-prone country and that the business community in South Sudan is committed to engaging the Juba administration to compensate the lives and properties of foreign drivers that were lost, looted or destroyed on their soil.

Since 2011 when South Sudan gained sovereignty as a landlocked country, the safety and movements of foreign cargo fleets have been persistently interrupted by armed violence especially along Nimule-Juba highway.

Following the aggression of the gunmen, the truckers have masterminded four different strikes in which they suspended travels to Juba to deliver cargo, the latest and lengthiest strike being in August in a bid to compel the government of South Sudan under the leadership of Salva Kiir to guarantee their safety and security.

The Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation and Africa’s 55th country on July 9, 2011. Renewed conflicts in December 2013 and July 2016 have undermined the development gains achieved since independence and worsened the humanitarian situation.

Preliminary list of other nationals Killed in South Sudan

Kenyans,Pius Atik, a turn man of truck number SSD 667F assaulted to death on June 17, 2021, at Rock city parking yard in Nimule town council.

Issack Ouma Ofwa, driver of truck number KBR 929L, working with ISY Company was shot dead at Jebelin on August 1, 2021.

On August 22, Harun Abdullahi Ore, driver of truck number KCF 351M and Issa Salat of trucker number KBN were also shot dead at the same area and time.

Hashim Ismail Abdinoor of truck number KBR 296B was shot dead on March 17, 2021 between Nesitu and Juba Academy.

Elijah Maiji was shot and truck burnt beyond recognition at Pagaeri-Juba road on 1 April 2021.

Jamila Nduku Kivuvani of truck number KBQ 978P was shot dead between Aruu junction and Nesitu.

Abdi Abdullahi was shot dead and truck burnt beyond recognition along Mundri road in May 2020.

Hussein Muhamad of truck number SSD 084N was shot dead in May 2020, and his truck was burnt beyond recognition along Jambo Mundri road.

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