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Traders decry numerous illegal checkpoints and corruption on the roads

Nov 12, 2020(Nyamilepedia) – Travelers in South Sudan experience increased illegal checkpoints by armed men who stop drivers and demand for coronavirus certificates and money to allow them to pass from one checkpoint to another.

Soldiers use these type of roadblocks to extort money from traders, service vehicle and humanitarian vehicles in South Sudan(Photo credit: supplied)
Soldiers use these type of roadblocks to extort money from traders, service vehicle and humanitarian vehicles in South Sudan(Photo credit: supplied)

According to travelers who have recently used the Juba-Nimule road, they say that they have identified several illegal checkpoints.

The first checkpoint is a few minutes away from Nimule town, shortly after Gordon hill while the second illegal checkpoint has been placed by soldiers who used wooden logs to block motorists about 30 kilometres from Juba, a few minutes away from Juba Academy school.

 “I got almost a hundred checkpoints before I could reach Wau,” said James Dawar who recently travelled from Juba to Wau in Western Bahr el Ghazal state.

Truck drivers also accuse the police at those illegal roadblocks of extorting money as they demand for bribes.

 “These border entry points between Aweil and Southern Kordofan and also between Darfur and Raja are filled with criminals. When traders go to Sudan and return with goods, they are being robbed and killed by unknown gunmen. This is a threat to us here,” Andrew said.

The acting spokesperson of the SSPDF, Brigadier General Santo Domic admitted the checkpoints exist and that they are being manned by the army.

 “When you take about Nimule road, which is one of the highly sensitive security roads and this is a lifeline road to the Republic of South Sudan from East Africa. There are some legal roadblocks that have been erected, but they are not many which are legal roadblocks under the responsibility of SSPDF.”

Traders on the route claim that the illegal roadblocks are meant to extort money instead of security reasons.

“These traders should be checked at the entry points and allowed to move freely without delay,” one trader suggested.

The SSPDF has maintained that the purpose of the roadblocks is to check the security of the people that are coming to South Sudan and to check whether there is anything illegal being smuggled into the country.

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