South Sudan: SPLA-IO Releases Boat Carrying Zain Telecom Equipment After 3 Months

The police in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State have confirmed that a boat laden with commercial goods and equipment belonging to Zain Group, a mobile telecommunications company, which had been detained by the SPLA-IO in Jonglei State’s Pigi County had been released on Friday and arrived safely in Malakal.

The telecommunication equipment was sent from Juba and was detained in the Diel area of Pigi County.

Major General Chol Atem, the commissioner of police in Upper Nile State Police, said on Monday that the boat arrived at the Port of Malakal safely.

“The boat was detained after another boat sank and led to the death of several people including a family member of one of the SPLA-IO officers. Contacts were made at the state government level with the leaders in the Diel region, which led to the release of the boat,” he explained. “The Bor-Malakal river corridor has become a challenge for the movement of river boats transporting supplies to the citizens of the Upper Nile State due to the large number of illegal checkpoints.”

Gen. Atem pointed out that the governor of Upper Nile State sent a message to the groups that obstruct the movement of river boats to cease doing so because it often leads to skyrocketing commodity prices in the markets.

“Due to this incident, boats stopped coming into Malakal and as such, this will increase the prices in the town,” he added.

Boat owners regularly complain about the many illegal and legal taxes imposed on them amounting to millions of pounds, due to a large amount of oil transiting through the river corridor.

Chol Mawel