South Sudan: Govt Offers U.S.$40,000 Bounty on Information, Arrest of Highway Gangs

(file photo).

Juba — Police in South Sudan have offered cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the mysterious gangs attacking Kenyan and Ugandan drivers on its highways.

In a notice, the police service said it is seeking information on the whereabouts of the bandits behind the numerous road ambushes and kidnappings on major highways linking Juba to key towns in the country.

"This is to inform the general public that police is looking for the following people seen in the picture below, with help for their arrest, police is putting up Sh2 million South Sudan Pounds ($40,000) to anyone who will give information that will lead to their arrest," the notice circulated on Saturday reads.

"These groups have been involved in kidnapping people, torturing, maiming and killing of the relatives of victims who failed to pay ransom. Juba-Yei road, Juba-Terekeka road, Juba-Kejo Keji and Juba-Mundri road have been most affected."

Last month, two Kenyan truck drivers were killed and two others went missing after they were ambushed on the highway.

Kenya Drivers Association, the lobby of long haul drivers, said six of their members had been killed on South Sudan's highways this year alone. A Ugandan lobby group claimed a member had been clobbered in South Sudan and was in a coma.

In April, eight people were kidnapped on the Juba-Terekeka road.

Authorities in Juba did not specify whether it is one group involved in these attacks or mote. Reports say the victims were set free after their families paid ransom.

In the recent past, transporters have threatened to suspend deliver of goods to South Sudan, which will increase the prices of commodities.

Last month, the Kenyan Embassy in South Sudan advised drivers not to use targeted highways.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

South Sudan's prevalence of armed groups following years of civil war means that any gang can assemble arms and engage in criminal activities.

The country's government of national unity is running behind schedule in mopping up arms and unifying the army.

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