KAYA, 30 March 2021 – Cross-border trade between South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State and Uganda has resumed despite poor roads along the border corridors of Kaya, Kajo-Keji, and Yei towns.

The road is one of the most important international supply routes to and from South Sudan.

Source African Centre for the Construction Resolution of Conflicts

Source African Centre for the Construction Resolution of Conflicts

Truck Drivers Risk Their Own Lives to Advance Trade - Photo Voice of America

Truck Drivers Risk Own Lives to Advance Trade – Voice of America

It became impassable over security concerns during the prolonged conflict and also on account of its state of disrepair.

“Yes, business along this corridor has resumed. Big trucks and cars have started moving along this road and traders can import their goods and do clearance in Kaya,” Anthony Gaga, a businessman in Kaya told Radio Tamazuj.

Four years ago, trade activities along this transnational road ground to a halt because of insecurity linked to the conflict.

The reopening is one of the fringe benefits flowing from the recent formation of South Sudan’s unity government.

Violence in the Region has made Travel Risky - Human Rights Watch

Violence Persists Travel Risky – Human Rights Watch

One of the biggest challenges travelers face on the road is the likelihood that it will become impassable once heavy rains start.

Recently, the Central Equatoria State governor, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, urged his cabinet ministers to work hard and deliver services to the citizens, including improved roads to ease movement and transportation of goods and services across all six counties of the state.

South Sudan is a key market for Uganda’s exports, accounting for trade worth $239.2 million in 2016 and $355.9 million in 2018, the last year for which Africa Freedom Network has data.

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