The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya Truck Drivers in South Sudan Ask State to Evacuate Them

Kenyan truck drivers have accused the government to ignoring their plight as they continued to suffer on the South Sudan-Uganda border. With the government announcing that the evacuation of Kenyans from the war-torn country had come to an end, the truck drivers said that their lives were in danger.

Speaking on Friday the drivers noted that they had been stranded on the border point for 25 days terming the living conditions as inhuman. A driver Amos Otieno who is in Nimule town on the Sudan side said that they could not pass to Uganda as they had not been cleared.

Otieno who left Juba a day before the clashes started termed life as very hard adding that at the no-man lands there were over 400 women and 300 stranded children.

"So much attention has been focused on major towns in South Sudan but many people are suffering at the border points," he said on phone. The driver who had just delivered industrial machinery to Juba said that the border towns did not have clean water and expressed fears of a disease outbreak. Another driver Peter Wambugu said he was headed to Juba from the port of Mombasa when the war broke out.

He said that he had just arrived at Elegu town on the Uganda side when the war broke out in South Sudan. "We were heading to Juba with cargo worth millions of shillings and since the war started we have been stranded here with no one to address our case," he said.

Wambugu termed life at the border point as very hard, expensive and unfriendly as locals took advantage of the prevailing situation to hike goods.

He said that they were in confusion as whether to leave behind the trucks or drive them back noting that there was rising hostility from the locals. "We cannot leave our trucks behind, it's very hot and we are asking for the government intervention to end our suffering," he said on phone.

Already the government has rescued over 3,000 Kenyans from the country while another 7,000 have vowed to remain behind and protect their properties. The war that has left over 1,000 people dead has seen four Kenyans killed as the warring parties agreed to meet and resolve the impasse.

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