KOBOKO, 31 March 2021 – An attack by unidentified gunmen has left killed four Ugandan drivers on the Yei-Juba Highway, as the drivers transited to South Sudan.
Details are only now emerging of the attack which occurred Sunday night between Ganji in Lanya County, 65km from the South Sudanese capital, Juba.
The highway was only recently reopened after becoming dormant on account of insecurity.
Multiple armed attacks on businessmen plying the road, notably during the second outbreak of the war in South Sudan, led to traffic drying up on it.
Koboko Resident District Commissioner, Sazir Mayanja, said the four drivers – Stephen Amati, Dada Abugo, Ali Sonny, and Sadam Noah – were killed Sunday in an ambush as they traveled in a convoy, hoping group travel would offer them more security.
Thirteen passengers who fled from the vehicles into nearby forests during the attacks have been rescued, Mayanja said.
Dozens of passengers remain unaccounted for, having been abducted during the attacks.
Border officials from both Uganda and South Sudan are coordinating search and rescue operations, according to Mayanja.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Traders doing business between Uganda and South Sudan have had to deal with decades of insecurity on the highway.
Although an agreement was sealed in 2013 between police chiefs of both South Sudan and Uganda, insecurity on the highway has persisted.