By Matia Samuel Timatio
The Police Commissioner in Western Equatoria State has called on the traders and commercial trucks travelling to Western Equatoria State to request for security escort to protect them against attacks from armed robbers along the road.
Albino Utho Mariano the Police Commissioner in Yambio made the appeal to the traders over the weekend when a Boda-boda rider was robbed of a huge sum South Sudanese Pounds.
The Police Commissioner told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper in a telephone interview, Sunday that the robbed Boda-Boda rider had been hired by a certain money transfer company to deliver the cash from Mvolo County to Mundri East for remittance.
Albino said that traders and commercial trucks ferrying their goods to different parts in the State need to inform his office before traveling so that he can provide them with security escort to whatever location they will be heading, to shield them from being robbed.
“You should not move alone without protection, if one wants to move from Juba to Mundri, Maridi or Yambio, you need to request for protection which will be okay. Giving little money to the security is not the same compared to loss of life. You will be escorted safely up to where you want to go. The Government is telling people to report to the security but they don’t like. It’s only when they fell into an ambush that’s when they come back to report to the security. That is the problem.” Albino stressed.
He said the small fee mentioned earlier is not mandatory but just a way of appreciating the security escort and saying his team will provide the security to the traders.
“You know this is June and our areas of Western Equatoria are bushy, there are so many enemies along the roads, the robbers because we don’t know if they are rebels and we call them unknown gunmen. They are not attacking the army’s vehicles but they are targeting the traders which means those people need food, or they are hungry they need money, so one must be careful to protect his property by requesting the security to escort you” he hinted.
He however pointed out that the government has not apprehended any suspect in connection to the robbery along the roads but assured the general public of a little bit of security and calmness in the State.
“It was only a week ago when unknown gunmen attacked SSPDF garrisons in a place called Ambee in Maridi county where they took four guns, and burnt down all the grass thatched huts of the soldiers and chased the SPLA soldiers from their camp but the security situation is very normal for the past weeks. We can say the road is safe now but something can happen, we can’t say the security is 100% but its 50%” the Police Commissioner asserted.
There have been reports of road ambushes along the roads in Western Equatoria State in the past few months where two people were reportedly killed and a driver injured by unknown gun men along Juba-Mundri Road on 28th May 2022.
The deceased were identified as James Orote Adriano of 33 years and James Elia of 30 years from Yambio and Nzara counties respectively.