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South Sudan: unlicensed checkpoints on River Nile hurting trade

By Lieth Nyak

Traders who ply the river route on the Nile are ruing illegal checkpoints which extorts money from their hands.

According to the chairman of the traders’ association in Unity State, Gabriel Thuok Gai, people who do not even identify themselves often confront the business people in transit and demand exorbitant fees from them.

Areas were people are most taxed along the River Nile route include Tayar, Adok port, Malakal and Jonglei, Gai said.
Reports from eyewitnesses suggest over 30 illegal checkpoints on the river between Adok and Bor towns.

“It is not clear where those people were coming from. There are people from Irol, they came through Panyijiar, there are people from Panyijiar and there are people from Adok and from Adok to Malakal,” he said.

“All those people we don’t know where they were coming from.”
According to Gai, the groups operated without government knowledge.
The Director General in the Ministry of Information in Unity State, Deng Muon said the State has received complaints raised by the business community over the taxation.
“We don’t know those groups. The government is planning to investigate the matter, identify the checkpoints, and apprehend the people who were harassing traders in the River Nile,” Muon said.

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