Uganda hesitates to evacuate traders trapped in Juba


The government of Uganda is still considering evacuating nationals trapped in the boiling South Sudan capital Juba.

⁠⁠Uganda army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda told press at the Media Centre in Kampala on Monday that the country was concerned about the escalating violence in the youngest neighbour.

“We may consider evacuating Ugandans from South Sudan if violence escalates,” Ankunda said.

He added: “We are concerned about the escalating insecurity in South Sudan and Uganda is already experiencing an influx of refugees.”

Media reports say over 800 South Sudan refugees were seen crossing into Uganda.

State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru, ordered security agencies to screen all refugees to ensure no army uniforms or weapons are allowed in the country.

Ugandan troops have already deployed at the border to avoid a spill over of the conflict.

Meanwhile, Internal Affairs ministry dismissed as false reports that Uganda had closed the border, locking out fleeing South Sudanese.

Traders stranded

Ugandan traders are still stranded in the capital, calling upon the Kampala government to rescue them from the intense fighting that started last week.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, will today give statement on the developments in South Sudan at Uganda Media Centre.

Minister Kyambadde told a local radio KFM, that government was still stuck since most of the nationals are hiding and cannot be reached.

Internal Affairs has given a phone contact [+211925287500] for the Ugandan Embassy in Juba that can be used by trapped traders.

The government could upon traders to come from hiding, go to the embassy that is ready and willing to evacuate them.

Local bus companies suspend all South Sudan operations due to clashes said to have so far claimed 270 lives in the capital Juba.

Police has also banned the businesspeople from travelling to the warring state.

Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga announced the ban at Naguru Police Headquarters, saying the move is aimed at protecting the lives and property of Ugandan traders as the clashes in Juba rage on.

“As a precaution, we urge all business persons and other Ugandans with plans to travel to South Sudan to cancel their plans since the situation is still tense and potentially dangerous,” Enanga said. On Sunday, Police blocked unspecified number of Ugandans and trucks from crossing into South Sudan.

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