Remove illegal checkpoints,Badi tellsgovernors

By William Madouk Garang

Archbishop and primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Rev Dr Justin Badi Arama has appealed to all governors and chief administrators to remove illegal roadblocks hampering service delivery.

Bishop Badi stated that citizens are complaining of unnecessary roadblocks hindering service delivery and free movement of the people.

“I want to say to our governors, the cry from your people is that the roadblocks are too many. So, please reduce them or remove them for free movement to deliver services to the people,” Badi said during the opening of the 6th Governors’ Forum.

He also urged humanitarian agencies, head of missions, and friends to the government to support flood affected families with humanitarian services.

“To the United Nations, all friends, and members of diplomatic corps; we appeal as citizens of this nation please help our government to provide humanitarian services to our people who are suffering from floods,” bishop noted.

“Please support our government, support our governors let them go back with the good names that there is hope to our suffering people,” he asserted.

Uninformed men are in most cases accused of mounting roadblocks and demanding money from truck drivers, motorists and humanitarians for them to proceed in their journey.

The unauthorized security forces reportedly command that foreign nationals produce their travel documents even after the visitors have been cleared by the immigration department.

Traders, contractors and non-governmental organizations operating in the country pay a huge amount of money levied on the countless roadblocks, making South Sudan roads among most expensive for transport.

According to a research study by the International Peace Information Service and Danish Institute for International Studies, government controls the majority of roadblocks while SPLM/A-IO control a third of the checkpoints along the river Nile.

The research reveals that transportation in South Sudan is among the most expensive ventures in the world and that it is only rivaled by Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It indicates that based on the average, a typical checkpoint in the country is managed by six people who charge an average of $100.

“Barge typically shuttle between Bor and Renk carrying humanitarian aid or foodstuff, and for the entire journey each barge will pay about $211 at each of the 33 checkpoints, totaling a stunning USD 10,000 for a round trip,” the report partly states.

The report states that checkpoints on the road between Juba and Bentiu on average charge truck about $21 but total journey involve passing through 80 checkpoints. This translates into an enormous amount of money incurred on a return journey about $ 3,000 in checkpoint taxes.

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