The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have warned Ugandans who risk their life travelling to South Sudan without country’s security backup.
UPDF warning comes shortly following several ambushes on the Juba-Nimule highway in which truck drivers and passengers traveling to South Sudan from Uganda have either been shot dead or injured.
On Sunday last week, unknown gunmen shoot at a convoy of three trucks on the same highway.
“That route is not safe for our people; the moment they reach Elegu Border, they should first ensure that the routes are secured,” Lt Hammed Hassan Kato from the UPDF 4th Division said.
“Given the war situation in South Sudan, there are a lot of wrong people and groups right now there.” He added.
Lt Kato said Ugandans “should establish whether the SPLA (South Sudan army) have sent in forces to picket and secure the routes so that they can move in and out when they are safe enough with their goods and resources.
The Sunday killings come less than a week after another ambush left five people dead on the same route.
The victims, who included, two nuns and a boda boda rider, were commuting from Loa Parish in Torit Diocese, Eastern Equatoria Province in South Sudan
The clashes erupted after Dr Machar’s rivals declared that they had deposed him as the head of the party and its military forces.
Many people lost their lives and hundreds injured. President Salva Kiir later held meetings with the leaders of the factions and ordered them to cease hostilities.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and several other agencies issued a joint communiqué, urging all the parties to restrain from fighting.
Even though security protocol and peace pact were signed between the UPDF and the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) in 2020, ambushes and killings of truck drivers and passengers on the Juba-Nimule highway still exist.