Uganda and South Sudan have organised an impromptu meeting to discuss issues frustrating bilateral and trade relations between the two countries.
The development comes after trade minister Amelia Kyambadde, met a delegation of South Sudanese leaders in Kampala recently. The meeting that will also be held in Uganda will involve government officials and private sector leaders from the two countries.
Early this month, Ugandan traders and truck drivers protested and blocked the Uganda-South Sudan border, accusing the Sudanese security of mistreatment.
The Police had to intervene to calm the situation. "We shall invite them for a meeting on July 18-19 to deal with trade, security, foreign affairs, immigration and relations matters between the two countries," Kyambadde said.
Sudeep Mohanty, the vice-president of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomed the move, calling on South Sudan to ensure uninterrupted trade.
General Acuil Tito Madut, the South Sudan inspector General of Police, who also led the Sudanese delegation, assured Ugandans that there was no xenophobic attitude towards Ugandans by his countrymen.
Madut said no individuals or security personnel were supposed to demand for money from traders or transporters. He noted that customs dues were supposed to be paid at the designated areas such as Nimule.
He said there would be joint highway patrols by the two countries between Gulu and Juba to provide security for Ugandan vehicles and traders.