East African Business Council call for a joint regional army patrol to guarantee security for truck drivers – RegionWeek

The East African regional business and private sector watchdog on Monday urged the East African Community (EAC) to create and deploy regional joint army patrols for escorting and protecting truck drivers amid cross-border trade impasse over security concerns reports Xinhua.
The East African Business Council (EABC) said in a statement that the EAC member states of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan should convene its EAC Sectoral Council on Interstate Security in order to consider the deployment of the regional joint army patrols.
 “A joint regional army patrol is a quick solution to guarantee peace and security for truck drivers, business people and their properties,” said the statement issued by the EABC headquarters in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha.
According to the statement, the deployment of the army escort patrols will ease and facilitate the transportation of essential goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to cases of insecurity in South Sudan, especially along the Nimule-Elegu border route to Juba, over 1,056 trucks are stranded along the border, risking the spread of COVID-19 to border communities, said the statement.
Insecurity along the Nimule/Elegu border route to Juba has currently stalled movement by around 1056 trucks, stranded at the Elegu border post. Part of the problem is that this immobility risks intensifying the spread of COVID-19 among the border communities as well as the truckers, it stated.
A stranded truck incurs losses of more than $1,000 each day while releasing trucks and drivers falling victim to militia assaults ranges between $10,000 and $20,000 at present, it further noted, pointing out that some drivers even get killed.
As the main gateway into Southern Sudan from the port of Mombasa, the Nimule-Elegu border post is of strategic importance to the EAC region. Nimule is located in Magwi County, Imatong State, South Sudan, immediately north of the International border with the Republic of Uganda. This location lies approximately 197 kilometers (122 mi), by road, southeast of Juba, the capital of South Sudan and the largest city in that country. This location lies approximately 120 kilometers (75 mi), by road, north of Gulu, Uganda, the nearest large city.
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