Aweil-Mairem road suspended following deadly border clashes
The government of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State has suspended traffic on the Aweil-Mairem commercial corridor following the deadly clashes which claimed about 24 lives according to multiple sources.
On Tuesday last week, horse-riding Massiriya militia from neighboring Sudan attacked and killed 4 citizens and injured scores leaving many displaced in Aweil East County’s Yihn Pabol area. The death toll has jumped to 24 according to local sources from the Dinka Malual.
The state security adviser, Joseph Akook Aleu, told Radio Tamazuj Monday that the state government announced the closure of the road to Sudan because of the ongoing attacks and killing of civilians.
“Yes, the commercial road is already suspended and there are no movements at the moment except on the Kiir Adem-Abu Matariq road,” Akook said.
Asked to clarify about the numbers of the dead and injured, he said the security organs were going to hold a meeting soon and would thereafter release the exact figures.
“It will be decided in the upcoming security meeting which will be attended by SSPDF Division 3 commander and other security organs so that the exact information will be released to the public,” Akook said.
Traders who ply the ad use the route to import goods urged the South Sudan and Sudan governments to review border and trade relations to ensure people and goods move freely.
“If a trader loses his or her life, that is not good,” Garang Athian, a trader based in Aweil said. “And we urge both governments to rearrange the opening of the route.”
Malong Deng Nyuany, a representative of the chamber of commerce in the state, said that there will be a scarcity of basic goods and commodity prices will skyrocket unless the trade route is immediately opened. He said the alternative routes from Abyei, Eldein-Gokmachar, and Juba have to be opened.
“The movement of goods will not be smooth unless it is supported by the alternative routes of Eldein-Gokmachar and Abyei plus Juba where currently commodities transit through,” Deng said. “We are waiting for our government to resolve the matter as soon as possible.”