Scores stranded as trouble brews at Uganda - South Sudan borderBy JAMES ERIKU | Monday, June 11 2012 at 12:16
Truck drivers and traders from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda have gone on strike to protest against “inhuman treatment” by South Sudanese Authorities.
Consequently, more than 800 people crossing the Uganda, South Sudan border were over the weekend stranded at Elegu post in Atiak Sub-county, Amuru District northern Uganda for lack of means of transport.
Mr Alli Mohamed, a fuel tanker driver, said on Saturday that the border would remain closed until they met President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda at the border post.
The motorists, who were later joined by businessmen, used logs, tyres, stones and trailers to block any traveller from accessing either country through the border.
The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) Intelligence Officer at the area, Mr Ben Kirika, said the situation could run out of hand if nothing was done immediately.
“We asked them to handle matters slowly, but it seems they are really up to it to ensure that their grievances are sorted out immediately,” said Mr Kirika said.
The protests follow an earlier warning by the motorists that they would stage demonstrations at the border to express their grievances over the continued extortion of money, over taxation, and physical assaults by authorities while in South Sudan, if the governments of Uganda and South Sudan did not solve the matter.
The Juba government, through their embassy in Kampala, last week apologised to the Ugandan business community in South Sudan over claims that the traders had been the latest targets of mistreatment and harassment by the locals.
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