Yumbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ugandan and South Sudanese authorities have committed to end the cross-border smuggling of fuel.
The leaders made the pledge on Friday during a joint cross-border security meeting between the central Equatorial State and the West Nile districts of Moyo, Koboko, and Yumbe held in Yumbe town.
Moses Wanjala, the Uganda Revenue Authority supervisor West Nile region says the rate at which imported fuel to South Sudan is smuggled through Kaya-Oraba border point in Koboko district is worrying. He however challenged them to be committed to fighting the smuggling of fuel so as to promote smooth cross-border trade.
Mambo Ashraf, the LCV chairperson Koboko noted that both countries should expeditiously address the matter to save their economies. He says most fuel stations in Koboko town can now hardly sell 100 liters of fuel in a day due to the high volume of cheap fuel smuggled from South Sudan through Oraba border.
Hudu Hussein, the Yumbe Resident District Commissioner assured the South Sudanese officials of their commitment to end the vice.
“I give you the assurance that the government both at the central level and the local government is wholly committed to peace and security”, reads part of his speech.
The Governor of Central Equatorial State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony who led the delegation from South Sudan pledged to engage National Revenue Authority to explore the options of joint operations as one of the permanent solutions to the vice.
The smuggling of goods in the Ugandan border region of West Nile has a long history overlapping the fine line between legitimacy and legality.
Currently, a liter of petrol on the black markets in West Nile sells at 4,800 Shillings compared to between 5,000-6,300 shillings at designated fuel stations in the sub-region.
Apart from fuel, some of the goods smuggled include; motorcycles, timbers, cooking oil, cigarettes, and gold, among others.
According to URA recovery report on smuggled goods published last year, the authority loses between 500 million to 1 billion Shillings a month to smuggling across the West Nile region.