On 8 June, drivers and businessmen plying the Kampala-Juba route laid down their tools to protest harassment by Sudanese citizens and officials.
Uganda Bus Drivers and Allied Associations have rejected resolutions reached in a meeting between the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura and his South Sudan counterpart General Acuil Titio Madut saying they were not involved. On 8 June, drivers and businessmen plying the Kampala-Juba route laid down their tools to protest harassment by Sudanese citizens and officials.
As a result, Kayihura rushed to Nimule and convened a meeting with South Sudan officials to discuss the blockade imposed by the drivers and businessmen from various East African countries. According to an agreement signed by General Madut and Kaihura they agreed that the South Sudan national police service take specific measures in respect to specific complaints raised during the meeting.
They also resolved that complaints raised against police personnel should be handled directly and immediately. The meeting also agreed to form a joint monitoring committee to monitor the Juba- Nimule and the Nimule- Kampala highways. The meeting also resolved to encourage foreign communities in South Sudan to form associations and select their leaders who will coordinate with their embassies and South Sudan authorities.
But Wily Katende, the spokesman of the Bus drivers says the agreement is not binding because they were not represented and the resolutions were not stamped and written on government headed paper. They also maintain that Gen Madut and Kale Kaihura could have met as friends but not to resolve their problems.
//Cue in: The draft they made is…”
Cue out:… their grievances in the meeting.”//
The National Chairman Kiwanuka Hannington says they also want the Uganda People’s Defence Forces currently in South Sudan to escort the buses and traders from Nimule to Juba. Kiwanuka maintains that it’s the South Sudan Special Police service and Army officials who are robbing them saying that they cannot expect protection from them.
//Cue in: Who is going to patrol from…”
Cue out:…when they have changed.”//
They say their colleagues have lost lives and properties which has greatly affected the entire community. Kiwanuka says they want to meet President Yoweri Museveni and Salva Kiir because the IGP’s cannot solve anything. They demand that the two heads of state should directly help stop the violation of road safety, human rights and release of innocent Ugandans whose cases need to be revisited.
They are also demanding that government helps see through payment of approved debtors and release of impounded vehicles. Katende adds that even thought top government officials from both sides are taking the matter lightly, its in the hearts of the people who are being unreasonable beaten by the Sudanese security operatives.
//Cue in: Its not at the border at Nimule…”
Cue out:…you will see what it means.”//
uganda bus drivers and allied associations
ubda national chairman kiwanuka hanington
ubda spokesperson katende willy
general acuil tito madut and maj. gen kale kaihur