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MALAKAL/JODA/JUBA - 1 Jan 2014

Traders in South Sudan complain of huge losses

The ongoing unrest in South Sudan has contributed toward huge losses for foreign and local traders after many markets were looted, banking was disrupted, and roads were closed.

In Bor market many foreign traders complained of losses after soldiers looted goods from the market. Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, a Sudanese trader called Ahmed Bilah reported that he left Bor after the fighting. “I am in great loss, I had brought goods worth 1 million South Sudanese pounds and I have not even got any single pound out of this and it all is gone,” he said.

The trader said that after their money and goods were stolen they were taken back to Juba after Kiir troops retook the city. “We spent days before we were brought to Juba – we thank God for our lives, we are here in Juba with only the clothes we were wearing that day the fight broke out,” he said.

Another Sudanese trader said that he lost over 600,000 SSP in Bor: “My shop was full of food items and the rebels looted everything before they were expelled by government forces,” he said.

He told Radio Tamazuj that they left from Bor to Juba where they are currently camping in Konyo Konyo market in Juba town. “We came out of Bor with nothing after we lost millions of money there, we have nothing to eat at the moment but we are given some food by our fellow brothers in Juba,” said the trader Musa Idriss.

Ataha, a trader from Ethiopia, also said he lost money and goods in Bor. He added that he is going back to his country because South Sudan is no longer a safe place for business. “What do we get when we lose all what we have – sometimes the money we have borrowed it from friends,” he said.

Malakal market

Sudanese, Eritrean and Ethiopian traders who were working in the Malakal market in Upper Nile State have fled and crossed into Sudan.

Radio Tamazuj was contacted by a group of 14 traders who made the journey northward from Malakal to Joda for four days without sufficient food or water, a border town in Sudan.

One of the traders Ali Ibrahim Mahamed, who escaped from Malakal to Joda, said that he had lost everything in Malakal. “When the forces of Machar entered the town they shot at people, shops were set on fire and goods looted,” he said.

“Many people were killed, some wounded. Our fellow traders are also victims of the conflict there,” he said

White Nile State migration officers are under instructions from the governor to facilitate the entry of nationals who lost their identity documents during the events in Malakal.

Photo: A market in Bor after looting (AFP)