Ugandan Businesses Suffer As South Sudan Crisis Continues

2909 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Abdul-Karim Hassani, a booking clerk for Juba-bound buses, says they are walking a tight financial rope ever since the Juba crisis.

Ugandans who ply their trade in South Sudan are instantly feeling the pinch of the conflict in the world's youngest nation.

Many traders are stranded in Uganda ever since the clashes in the South Sudan capital, Juba between forces loyal to the President Salva Kiir and his First Vice President Riek Machar erupted.

The clashes have cut off many Ugandan traders who operate in Juba and other parts of South Sudan. Tomson Asiku, a dealer in eggs and vegetables, says for close to two weeks now he has not taken any of his merchandise to South Sudan.

Asiku says before the recent clashes he used to ferry eggs and vegetables at least twice to Juba where he sells on wholesale. He says he is already feeling the financial pinch.

//Cue in: We're totally cut …
Cue out: … not doing well.//
Asiku says some of his goods were looted during the clashes. Equally hit are shop owners in downtown Kampala who sell a lot of merchandise to South Sudan-bound traders.

One such business person is Abdu Muhira. He says the resumption of the conflict in South Sudan has simply worsened an already bad situation because South Sudan-bound purchases had already declined.

//Cue in: All traders who …
Cue out: … there right now.//

The most affected categories of business people are transporters who have literally nothing to ferry to South Sudan since for over a week now Juba-bound trucks and buses have not been operating.

Arua and Nebbi parks in central Kampala have over 100 transport agents for various buses and trucks. Each booking desk has at least file hangers-on, meaning those affected are in their hundreds. 

Abdul-Karim Hassani, a booking clerk for Juba-bound buses, says they are walking a tight financial rope ever since the Juba crisis.

//Cue in: Extremely too too…
Cue out: … depend on now.//

The hustle and bustle that characterizes Arua and Nebbi parks is also gone, creating space for traders from the countryside and a few from Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.

In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."