January 17, 2023 (JUBA/AWEIL) – Authorities in South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal State on Monday announced the closure of Aweil-Meiram road connecting it to Sudan, citing insecurity concerns.
Last week, an armed Sudanese man reportedly shot and killed two local government officers in Warguet payam of Aweil East County.
The killing of the officials, identified as Santino Akech Angok and Peter Arol Yai, followed a case in which a soldier stole cows two years ago. Angok and Arol has passed a ruling in favour of the soldier who carried out the act.A
ngok was the Warguet payam administrator while Yai was his deputy.
The state information minister, William Anyuon Kuol said the road connecting the two countries would remained closed until further notice.
“We have now closed down the borders until the suspect is arrested. The government took this decision because the locals are frustrated and if transportation activities continue via the commercial route, many crimes may erupt and we want to avoid that,” he said on Monday.
Kuol said they took this measure to protect travelers since it is feared local people currently mourning the death of two local government officers and those who had sustained injuries during the attack may react negatively.
For his part, South Sudan’s deputy Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister described the killing of the duo as “unfortunate”.
“It is unfortunate this incident occurred at the time our leaders have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing security and cross-border trade. We have asked the Sudanese government to find the culprits and ensure they are held responsible because the act of such people would undermine the relations and jeopardize security and movement of the people and trade between the two countries in border areas,” he said.
Closure of the road connecting the two countries prompted mixed reactions. While some backed the move, others claimed closing the border crossing would lead to suffering of people and rise in commodity prices.