South Sudan, Uganda locked in border dispute

Long-running divisive issue threatens trade, security

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Ms. Bol disputes the figures and said Ugandans are welcomed in South Sudan where they are generally safe to work. She said Ugandan media often sensationalizes border incidents.

Even if a boundary is agreed upon, tensions are unlikely to ease.

Law enforcement in South Sudan is weak, and resentment is high, as Ugandans rush in to fill jobs that South Sudanese, hobbled by decades of war with Sudan, cannot do on their own.

Food shortages allows Ugandans to sell produce at double what they can fetch back home.

South Sudan is now Uganda’s largest export market, as Ugandans cut inroads into agriculture, light manufacturing and construction.

South Sudan citizens crossing into Uganda benefit from education, health and other basic services. Uganda’s private sector is reportedly lobbying for the construction of a railway to link the countries.

Frederick Ssenonga of the Joint Action for Redemption of Uganda Traders said intimidation, robbery, shootings and stolen funds are part of the cost of doing business in South Sudan. He claims to have lost $142,000 in construction investments and that both governments have failed to uphold the law.

Ms. Bol said a vicious oil dispute between South Sudan and Sudan has sapped the new nation’s ability to establish security and rule of law. Tribal tensions in the eastern part of South Sudan are also creating instability.

South Sudan offers “high risks and high profits,” as Mr. Mugume described trade prospects in South Sudan.

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