Statement on Status of Ugandan Traders in South Sudan
The Minister Of Trade Industry and Cooperatives held a media briefing at Media center on the Status of Ugandan Traders in Southern Sudan on 12th July 2016:As you are all aware, there has been renewed fighting in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.Ugandans have been advised to stay indoors and those near the Ugandan embassy advised to move within the embassy territory.Meanwhile Government advises the Ugandan Business community to explore other market opportunities created through regional integration especially in EAC and COMESA in the wake of conflicts in South Sudan.
South Sudan became Uganda’s leading export destination in 2008 following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. Total exports (formal + informal) peaked at USD$ 1.18 bn in 2008.
However, the fighting that broke out in December 2013 sparking off a civil war in South Sudan caused a steady decrease in Uganda’s exports from USD$ 414m in 2013, to USD$ 385m in 2014 and USD$ 353m in 2015.
Uganda’s leading exports to South Sudan are cereals, milling products (maize floor, wheat flour), sugar, iron and steel, cement, beers and soft drinks, motor vehicle re-exports, vegetable oils and soap lubricants.
As you are all aware, there has been renewed fighting in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. We have not received a comprehensive report on the status of Ugandans in Juba, however, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ugandan security agencies are closely following up the matter and will brief the nation of its findings as soon as possible.
Currently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has consulted the security personnel and they are doing all that it takes to ensure that Ugandans in Juba are evacuated from South Sudan.
The Juba airport is still closed and the main road to Nimule too is closed, however, security has gone in to clear the road and send in 30 trucks that are going to evacuate Ugandans through the Eastern Route of South Sudan.
Caution to Ugandans
Ugandans have been advised to stay indoors and those near the Ugandan embassy should move within the embassy territory. The Ugandan embassy has been facilitated to take care of Ugandans in Juba.
The Government of Uganda is monitoring the developments as they unfold in South Sudan and right now Ugandan traders are advised to exercise caution in travelling to South Sudan.
Government advises the Ugandan Business community to explore other market opportunities created through regional integration especially in EAC and COMESA in the wake of conflicts in South Sudan.
Under EAC: Ugandans can export to other EAC member countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda under the Common Market protocol
Under COMESA: Uganda is implementing the COMESA Free Trade Area which opened up market opportunities in 19 COMESA member states including the neighboring DR Congo where there is a huge market for Ugandan products.
For God and My County
Amelia Kyambadde (MP)