Kampala — Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has implored the Government of South Sudan to protect Ugandan traders operating in the country.
Ms Kadaga said the traders are facing hostility from the South Sudanese.
"During a meeting with Uganda traders in Juba, I was informed they required extra protection because they are being threatened with eviction by the locals yet they have invested a lot in [South Sudan]," she is quoted as saying in a statement by Parliament's Directorate of Communication and Public Affairs.
Ms Kadaga was in South Sudan's capital Juba from September 17 to September 22 for a meeting of speakers of parliaments from the East African Community (EAC).
During the meeting, the President of Rwanda Senate, Mr Bernard Makuza, emphasised the importance of trade between the EAC member states.
"Today, more than ever, cooperation is not a choice but rather an imperative in real terms," Mr Makuza said.
Burundi seeks help
The speaker of Burundi National Assembly, Mr Pascal Nyabenda, urged the East African Legislative Assembly to help Burundi fight off sanctions imposed on it by the European Union (EU).
"EU has imposed unjust economic and budgetary sanctions on Burundi, which are counter-productive. In such conditions, it will not be easy for Burundi to sign an economic partnership agreement with the EU," Mr Nyabenda said.
At the meeting, Ms Kadaga urged EAC member states to promote peace in the region. She said when there is instability, people flee to neighbouring countries and put pressure on the host communities' social infrastructure such as health, education and roads.
Mr Anthony Lino Makana, the speaker of the Transitional Legislative Assembly of South Sudan, said they will host the EALA plenary next month.
"There is a need to strengthen EALA so that all the legislative parametres of integration are given due attention. States should benefit from joint infrastructural development, networking, cooperation in social and welfare projects and a unified voice in international community," he added.
The demo. This is not the first time Ugandans have complained of harassment in South Sudan since the new country came out of war and got independence two years ago. In 2013, Ugandan traders and drivers in South Sudan blocked Elegu border on Gulu-Juba road after unknown people killed five traders including two truck drivers at Mesito, located about 15km from Juba Town.