By Bida Elly David
South Sudanese traders have accused soldiers of establishing illegal roadblocks and checkpoints along high-ways prompting excessive charges on their carriages that indirectly impact their financial status of gains.
The accusation against the members of the army emerged after number of traders who have been committed towards transportation of goods and passengers to states complained about the financial differences they incur after facing charges from the multiple roadblocks.
Traders across the Country last year experienced series of losses in their enterprises as the results of random charges on their carriages by military men who claimed to have been given mandate by the government to issue roadblock and checkpoint duties.
Speaking to No.1. Citizen Daily newspaper yesterday, Achidri Emmanuel, Juba Nimule truck driver said that the availability of many roadblocks and checkpoints along high ways has made most business men and women to lose hope.
He said that they severally witnessed soldiers in Military uniforms resounding the exercise of crafting roadblocks for the sake of generating income for their survival.
“We are truly tired of undergoing several charges along high ways due to the multiple road-blocks and checkpoints. These many road blocks have truly affected our businesses since last year. You find that after every one to two miles, you find a rope of no entrance guaranteed by clearance. Is this a Country or looting’’ he said.
Furthermore Achidri accused soldiers for having carried the exercise of creating very many roadblocks as means to generate income through the traders and drivers.
“Soldiers deployed on high ways are the ones playing the roles of creating these illegal checkpoints as a mechanism to get money from the drivers and some passengers for their survival and that is completely wrong. How do you expect citizens to deliver services yet you illegally charge them’’ he said.
On his part, Kokole Isaac, a driver for Juba-Yei highway has urged government to quickly form an assessment team that would move to analyse the high-ways across the Country.
“Honestly we need few checkpoints with limited charges on high-ways. This issue of government not taking into consideration the movement of traders and drivers on high ways is part and partial of the Country’s economic recession. We need to be compromised and helped’’ he said.
At the same note, Adam Ismail, a driver who previously used the Prelate’s convoy to Juba pointed out the charges he would have incurred if he had not followed the Church’s convoy in their return after the feast in Yei.
“Accessing Juba-Yei road is a tag of war while carrying passengers in the middle of those many roadblocks created by the soldiers. If I had not used the convoy for the team that was coming to Juba after attending the church service in Yei, I would have remained with petty cash as my balance. We need the custom Unit to clearly carry a thorough research to really know that we are battling losses on the high-ways’’ he said.