By Deng Machol
Juba – The Kenya Transporters’ Association has advised its members to temporarily suspend travels into East Africa’s youngest nation following the killing of two drivers.
Kenya Transporters Association issued the travel advisory following the killing of two drivers along the Juba Nimule road on Sunday evening.
This latest killing follows an ambush on the same road which left five people dead, including Catholic nuns on Monday last week.
These separate attacks on passenger vehicles and trucks are being carrying out by unidentified gunmen along the Juba-Nimule Road.
Two of the death are reportedly Kenyan truck drivers whose vehicles were burnt in the violence.
South Sudan’s Police Spokesperson, Major Gen. Daniel Justin has confirmed the incident, say the three vehicles were attacked at around 5:30 to 6:00 PM – South Sudan local time on en route to Juba capital, claimed two lives.
Justin said no person is apprehended so far but they are investigating the incident.
“We condemned it and therefore, the people of South Sudan and the world at large should know that these ambushes are carried out by heartless and terrorists against the efforts of the government to avail permanent peace for the country by implementing the revitalized peace agreements,” Justin told Pan African Visions on phone.
Following the incident, the Kenya Transporters’ Association advised its members to temporarily suspend services to South Sudan.
“Following increased lawlessness and insecurity along Nimule – Juba highway that has seen several drivers killed and trucks either burnt or vandalized; we wish to advise all transporters not to risk the lives of their drivers and their trucks by continuing to offer transport services to South Sudan as the country remains highly volatile,” according to the document signed by Newton Wang’oo, chairman of Kenya Transporters Association.
The Kenyan Transporters’ Association says its truck drivers should immediately withdraw their services until such time security is guaranteed.
“We, therefore request all transporters to withdraw their services forthwith to South Sudan until such time security shall be quaranteed,” he added.
To those [drivers] already en route, the association advised them to delivers the goods to customs yard at Elego border.
The statement urges Juba government to take critical actions on the unknown gunmen on the highway to cease a rampant killing and burning of the vehicles.
“We further request the government of South Sudan to immediately take measures to protect our drivers and trucks already in South Sudan and also compensate the lives and properties lost,” said Wang’oo.
However, police spokesperson Justin urges the residents along Nimule – Juba road to join hands with the security agents to address these potential threats being perpetrated by unknown gunmen.
The Nimule-Juba highway, amongst others have experienced series of road attacks since the country’s six years conflict broke out in late 2013.
The oil – rich – South Sudan, a land-locked country depends almost entirely on imports largely from Kenya and Uganda.