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Uganda stops South Sudanese Fish traders crossing to DR. Congo

By Charles K. Mark

 

Several South Sudanese fish traders have raised concerns over actions taken by Uganda’s Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU), impounding fish shipments worth $1,127,000 belonging to the traders.

Mangar Akuot Yuang, from the South Sudan Fish Traders’ Union in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said the FPU has stopped seven truckloads of from crossing through Uganda to their final destination.

Yuang stated that the seals on four of the trucks were broken by Ugandan authorities, and some traders were detained without trial.

“Our market is not in Uganda. Uganda does not buy our fish. Our market is in Congo, and our customers are in Congo, but the Ugandan military has refused to allow our fish to cross into Congo,” Yuang revealed.

Yuang added that an additional 16 trucks remain impounded at the Nimule customs border, not permitted to proceed according to Ugandan officials.

He expressed concern that the longer the fish is detained, the more it will spoil, resulting in significant financial losses for the traders.

“It started on the 24th of April with the arrests of three Ugandan nationals and one South Sudanese, Anyuat Mawel Anyuat. They are still in the Katwe prison in Kasese district,” Yuang reported.

Another trader, William Alier, said that on May 28th, 2024, their trucks were detained by the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) Fisheries Protection Unit.

“They offloaded two vehicles by force to the market of Mpondwe on June 3rd, and we are not sure of the safety of the fish that were in those vehicles, as they were offloaded by military personnel,” Alier mentioned.

Alier added, “They said the remaining four vehicles will be offloaded, whether we like it or not.”

The traders have reported the issue to the South Sudanese government, but they have not yet received a response.

Efforts to get comments from the Ugandan authorities were futile.

 

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