Unending civil war in Sudan causes institutions to relocate to Uganda

A number of South Sudanese religious and educational institutions are relocating to Uganda as the civil war in the country intensifies.

Close to a million people have fled to West Nile in Uganda amidst claims of ethnic cleansing by the warring factions.

Already a health training institution from Kajokeji town has relocated to Arua district with all its students. In Moyo, preparations are almost complete to relocate the Catholic Diocese of Kajokeji to Moyo town.

Kajokeji is located in Yei River State, one of the 28 states in South Sudan. Before the creation of states, it was part of the six counties of Central Equatoria. It is approximately 150 kilometres south of South Sudan capital, Juba, and 50 kilometres from the Uganda border post at Nimule.

William Anyama, the Local Council Five Chairperson of Moyo district says land and structures have already been put in place to accommodate the bishop and other diocesan leaders from Kajokeji diocese in the district. Anyama says over the last few months, several people have been displaced from Kajokeji and have taken refuge in Moyo district. He says the situation in South Sudan is alarming and calls for the residents of Moyo to offer shelter for the fleeing refugees.

Anyama says the influx is placing a heavy burden on the district to share the little resources available.

In Arua town, Kajokeji Health Training Institute has already opened its gates for the students to continue learning. Founded in 2013, the institute produced its first set of graduates last year after three years of training. The school located in Kajokeji town had its own premises complete with facilities. In September last year, unknown gunmen raided the school, killing two students. The raid forced the school management to close the institution and decided to relocate to Arua.

Santa Gudoa, the Administrative Assistant at the institute says since all the people in Kajokeji have fled, there was no need to continue operating the school there.

The relocation exercise has also come with a heavy burden on the management of the institution. Isaac Draciri, the Deputy Principal of the institute says the cost of relocating has been heavy. He says the current facility they are renting is costly. He says they are paying 3,000 US Dollars a month and the landlord forced them to pay for six months. According to Draciri, this has eroded the resource base of the institute.

Draciri also says the relocation has had an effect that a number of students have dropped out because they cannot afford to pay the high fees charged in Ugandan currency. He says this also affects the financial base of the institute coupled with the high costs of renting and provision of other facilities.

On a positive note however, the deputy principal says the cost of hiring tutors has lowered. Draciri says while in Kajokeji, they used to hire tutors from Arua and Gulu, with very high costs. He says they would pay for the visas and transportation from Uganda to Kajokeji. He now says they have cut down on the costs because the tutors are readily available at a reduced cost. He hopes this will improve the standards of the institution.

To the students it is a new experience. Betty Peter Elisa, a second year student studying nursing says she feels more at peace in Arua than when she was in Kajokeji. Elisa says after the death of her colleagues she was traumatized and wanted to leave the institute. She says when they were told that the school would be relocated to Arua, she and her colleagues were excited because they knew they would be safe.





Ugandans defy odds to continue business in Juba

Ugandan traders are thronging South Sudan despite earning relatively smaller profit margins.

Some of the traders told Uganda Radio Network that the demand for Ugandan commodities is there but the propensity to consume is low since the economy has been in the doldrums for a while.

John Abudeko, a vegetables dealer, says a tomato or onion that goes for the wholesale price of 100 Shillings or less in Uganda is sold in South Sudan for 1,000 Shillings, 10 times more.

Abudeko says on paying taxes, expenses and exchanging the South Sudan Pound into Uganda Shillings, he remains with a profit of 200 to 300 Shillings.

Although this is still a good margin, it is less than the huge profits traders used to get before the war erupted in 2015.

According to Abudeko, the biggest challenge facing Ugandan traders in South Sudan is converting the South Sudan Pound (SSP) into Uganda Shilling in which they lose chunks of the money, hence a smaller profit margin.

One hundred SSP that used to exchange for 80,000 Shillings before the start of the South Sudan conflict in December 2015 now goes for 3,000 Shillings.

Another Ugandan trader operating in Juba, Faridi Citio, says he transports foodstuffs to Juba daily because they are fast-going even if the profit margin is small.

Citio says maintaining the Juba operations is also about securing his capital as he makes some profits. He also complains of the low exchange rate.

Some of the hot-selling commodities are maize and cassava flour, beans, vegetables, cooking oil, sugar, soap and detergents, beers, soft drinks and mineral water.

Others are used clothes, plastic chairs, petroleum, utensils, cosmetics and cattle.

Many cargo haulers are making brisk business ferrying the goods. Some stop at Elegu while others make it all the way to Juba.

The number of other travellers to Juba is also increasing with Juba-bound buses getting fully booked.


Six people that died have been identified

By Robert Ssegawa

Police has released the names of Six Ugandans who died in yesterday’s bus accident involving two Gate Way buses in Juba.

The aswa regional police spokesperson Jimmy Patrick Okema says the deceased are  Kirunda Daniel bus driver from Kamuli, Masengere Richard  a resident of Kawempe, Ssenkambwe Med from Wakiso, Abua Sulaiman from Koboko and Hawali Mohammed Golan.

He says survivors of the accident have been transferred to Lacho hospital in Gulu.

Photo: acholitimes.com

Juba: Bus attack

By Robert Ssegawa

Ugandans are still missing following an attack on a bus that was returning from Juba at Konyi Village 70km from Nimule boarder post.

The four who include the driver and the conductor are being searched for by SPLA soldiers and Juba police.

Friendship bus registration number UAM 126V was transporting 11 passangers to Uganda when they were attacked by suspected South Sudanese rebels.

According to the police spokesperson Felix Kaweesi,  5 people were injured in gunfire and one has since been been confirmed dead.

” South Sudanese soldier were able to rush four people to Juba hospital where one died. The other injured passanger crossed to Uganda and is admitted at Adjumani hospital,” Kaweesi says.

Police is yet to gwt indentity of those injures and admitted in Juba as well as the dead passanger.

Suzan Nsubuga who is at Adjumani hospital crossed to Uganda with two other; Mercy Awori and another only identified as Deo.

1,326 refugees have so far crossed into Uganda

By Gloria Nakiyimba

A total of 1,326 refugees have so far crossed into Uganda from South Sudan.  United Nation’s High Commission for Refugees-UNHCR says of these 1,633 arrived in Uganda on Sunday while others had fled the fighting between Friday and Saturday last week.

According to UNHCR majority of the people seeking shelter and safety in Uganda are South Sudanese. This now bring the total number to 5,015 people who have fled South Sudan since violence broke out early July between rival forces of President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riak Machar in Juba.

They entered Uganda through border points at Moyo, Kuluba, Lamwo, Yumbe and Elegu, and are staying at   Pagiarinya settlement in Adjumani District.

UNHCR warns that the number of people seeking asylum in Uganda will increase in the days ahead as tension remains high across the border.


Rwandair to resume operations in South Sudan

By Gloria Nakiyimba

Rwandair is set to resume operations in South Sudan on Wednesday 20th July.

Rwanda country manager Ada Mugenyi says the first flight to Juba is scheduled for 3:30 this afternoon.

Rwandair suspended Juba operations after fighting broke out between enemy forces of President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riak Machar two weeks ago.

Rwandair is partnering with Capital radio to give a lucky couple their dream honey moon in season four of the Big wedding (#TheBigW16).

8,000 citizens evacuated

The UPDF has so far evacuated by road more than 8,000 citizens trapped in the recent fighting in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

UPDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, says that 4,500 citizens, mainly business people were successfully evacuated yesterday to the border, bringing the number brought by road to over 7,500 people while another  500 pregnant women, young children and the sick were due to be airlifted by helicopter.


270 Ugandans finally back

By Robert Ssegawa.

Over 270 Ugandans who were trapped in Juba during the ongoing war have finally back home in Kampala.

While receiving them at CPS the police spokesperson Fred Enanga said those who managed to board Uganda police buses are those with bullet wounds, women with their children.

Zaitun Namubiru one of the injured told police 4 of her friends were killed as they were resisting surrendering money to government soldiers.

Enanga adds that all these were stranded at Eregu boarder after all lost their money and government have to transport them to Kampala.