Authorities in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) have suspended transport along the road linking the national capital, Juba to Pibor town amidst concerns of growing insecurity.
John Abulla, the deputy GPAA Chief Administrator, said that the suspension will hold until further notice as gunmen continue to destabilize the road.
“Two days ago, we lost a trader and another one was injured when two tractors carrying goods en route to Pibor was attacked. So, as a government, we suspended transport because we do not want to lose more lives,” he said.
The official pointed out that the road will remain closed until the safety of travelers is reassured.
“Our chief administrator is in Juba and he will meet his Jonglei State counterpart so that they will be able to sort out this problem. So, we asked the traders to remain calm as the two principals find ways for them to move freely without fears,” he said.
The head of the GPAA chamber of commerce, Zechariah Nyiboy, welcomed the suspension as he called on the government to improve security along the road.
“As traders, there is nothing else we can do but to suspend the transport of goods because we are not armed. My message to our brothers in Jonglei state is that they should stop attacks on traders because as traders we do not have borders,” he said.
For his part, Nyany Korok, the deputy chairperson of the GPAA’s human rights commission, condemned the recurring attacks along the Juba-Pibor road and called for an investigation, warning that it may escalate into violence between Pibor youth and their Bor counterparts whom he blamed for the attacks.
Efforts by Radio Tamazuj to reach Jonglei state officials for comment were futile.
The Juba-Pibor road has been the scene of recurring attacks over the past few months. On Tuesday, a trader was killed and another one injured when their convoy was waylaid by armed men along the road.