Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The State Minister of Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem has called upon Ugandan traders who cannot handle the challenges in South Sudan to stop going there.
Speaking today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was opening the Uganda-India investment road show taking place in the city of Jaipur in the province of Rajasthan, Oryem said traders must understand that South Sudan is undergoing security challenges that might take some time to be resolved.
The minister’s remarks come just days after truckers lifted a ban on going to South Sudan via the Nimule-Juba highway. For over two weeks, trucks laden with goods were parked on the Uganda side of the border at Elegu demanding that South Sudan first guarantees that they will be safe from attacks by gunmen.
A number of Ugandans and other nationals have had their merchandise stolen, trucks vandalized and the unlucky ones killed by gun wielding gangs along the Nimule-Juba road.
Following the impasse, officials in the government of South Sudan and that of Uganda met several times to try and come to working solution. As of now, the government of South Sudan has resumed giving armed escorts to these cargo trucks to guarantee their security.
Meanwhile, Oryem also said Uganda is getting impatient with the continued threat at its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo from the Allied Democratic Forces. Oryem said President Museveni has already put on notice the United Nations Security Council that Uganda is ready to cross into DRC to neutralize the threat posed by ADF.
About the trade show in India, the minister said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has engaged on a program to promote Uganda’s business potential in all the countries where it has representation.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is prioritizing commercial and economic diplomacy in our work today,” Oryem said. “We believe this new focus will lead to social economic transformation of our country and deepen our relations with India.”
When asked whether the investment climate and the state of the economy is not responsible for pushing foreign companies out of the country, Oryem said Uganda remains one of the most attractive countries to invest in.
He said when multilateral companies like Shoprite, Africell, Game among other leave the country, other companies will gladly replace them.