August 26, 2013

Ugandan Boda Boda Riders Flee Juba Over Harassment

Hundreds of Ugandans working as ‘Bodaboda’ motorcyclists in South Sudan have fled the country over alleged excessive maltreatment, a week after the government issued a directive stopping foreigners from operating in the area.

Under their umbrella body South Sudan Motorcycle Bodaboda Association (SSMBA), the Ugandan cyclists have since last week been riding in groups from Juba to Kampala, a distance that is more than 600 kilometres.

Ugandan boda boda cyclists make a stop-over in Luweero on their 600km long journey from Juba to Kampala
Ugandan boda boda cyclists make a stop-over in Luweero on their 600km long journey from Juba to Kampala

They accuse the South Sudanese nationals of attacking them in their homes at night warning of danger if they don’t leave their country. Many of them who appear in civilian clothes have also acted as police officers by tasking the Ugandans to display their particulars especially Identity Cards to establish their nationality. If they are Ugandan, they are allegedly assaulted and asked whether they never heard of the ban.

Last week Aleu Ayeny Aleu, the South Sudan Interior minister, issued a directive banning foreigners from involvement in the boda boda business. Aleu claimed that the move was to curb increasing criminal acts committed by many foreigners hiding in the business.

He tasked the Country’s Inspector General of Police and Director of Traffic Police to execute the ban. As Police started executing the order, the loathing Sudanese nationals also allegedly took advantage to expeditiously get rid of Ugandans.

As a result, most of the disgruntled motorcyclists under SSMBA, have resolved to flee the country because the situation is seemingly worsening.

Samuel Asiimwe, riding a motorcycle registration number CE 7493A, says he was attacked by three men at his home at night. He says he was asked to either leave the country or surrender his bike despite his licence that was still valid up to mid 2014. Fearing the worst, he decided to come back to Kampala for safety.

Godfrey Nsamba, another cyclist riding a motorcycle registration number CE 2434A, said he was shocked to see armed people in civilian clothes come to his place at night asking him to leave the country. He said that as the Uganda traders waited for a response from the Ugandan Embassy in Juba, the attackers kept coming.

Another rider David Tibamanya, who was riding a motorcycle number CE0209A, said he was attacked by a group of young Sudanese boys between the ages 10-15. He says that they shouted at him asking that to leave. He confronted the young boys, but a few minutes later, they came back with some men armed with sticks and grilled him why he had to react angrily to Sudanese yet it’s their country. He decided to leave the country.

Out of the 20,000 people in Bodaboda business in South Sudan, 1600 are Ugandans basing on records of those registered under the SSMBA association

Abraham Ojok, the SSMBA chairperson says they have petitioned government for a grace period as they look for money to get Ugandan registration numbers for their motorbikes to operate locally.

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. The last major complaint was in April this year, when 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.

URN tried in vain to reach trade minister Amelia Kyambadde. But just over a week ago, Minister Kyambadde said the Government was in the final stages of compensating Ugandan traders who lost business in South Sudan.

Kyambadde said the South Sudan government launched an inquiry into the matter and a report showed that 44 million dollars was needed to compensate the traders.

14 thoughts on “Ugandan Boda Boda Riders Flee Juba Over Harassment

  1. I still don’t see why we treat them like god’s when they kill and maim Ugandans in Sudan. These people are beasts that should face Nebuchadnezzar’ law close the borders and starve those bastards and when they are dying of hunger then will we have the bargaining power

  2. Sorry for the Fellow Ugandans whose businesses were suppressed by the ban. However if is of paramount Importance that the Government of South Sudan maintains strict law and order for everybody to enjoy a good working environment and instead tap on the skills that foreigners come with. Even Countries Like Uganda still import Skills from Kenyans, Indians and Europeans and this has put is in a better business position (hub) in the region.

    So Sudanese should capitalize more on learning the new skills instead of blocking them as they impose bans that are not helpful. They should have a spirit hard work, explore their resources but it can not simply come by imposing bans.

    Issues of torture and maltreatment of fellow human beings puts Sudanese in a somewhat a primitive position as viewed by the rest of the exposed people.

    This will instead repel highly skilled like Doctors, Engineers, good teachers of Professors etc, people to come to this country and as such you can not develop because you are taken as people who have not known the Value of Life.

  3. s sudan we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!………………………………..continue throwing em……………………..

  4. I think it’s time for Ugandan authorities to show that really they mind about their citizens. How on earth do people suffer like this as if they have no government!?

    1. You Ugandans, watch out on those who exagurate information. They are fatal to SS and Ug relationship. This is exagurated information. Anyway, we are not shaken.

      1. You are shaken, but never mind Gonda Julius, it is said what goes round comes round. But your people are also pathetic yet you enjoy the coolness in Uganda.

  5. But they are here roaming like goats, No one stops them of what ever they are doing why not send them also out of here.
    This people we kept them here like our own brother now they have turn on us. Luganda says that when you treat some ones wound he kicks you with the same leg.
    This people roam even in villages buy food without our authority doing any thing.
    Please Ugandan leaders try and save our people from such hostile countries

  6. I went to Sudan sometime back – around early 2008, with my Computer Skills ready to do Business. I tried to set up a training center and coz it was a necessary skill that I thought would help the citizens. I Setup two Local Area Networks for certain offices. Surprisingly, when both owners were paying up, he threw a similar comment that Ugandans were up to taking their money and that they were not happy.

    This was echoed by three or 4 other S. Sudanese and I sensed danger. I abandoned the whole idea and came back 2 UG.

    In business, you need to take calculated risks.

    Let sleeping Dogs Lie.

    Life is more precious.

    1. he bro what a avital experiece did you meet there!
      Ihappened to share the same experience but iam sill working ther in adifferent field.
      Thanks.
      Geoffrey

  7. Well, I may not be in support of the action taken by GOSS neither am i against our own brothers operating from s.sudan. However some of boda boda cyclists are not honest as majority would want us to believe. I would not be astonished if an investigation is launched and they themselves turn out to be behind some of the crimes that have engulfed juba and metropolitan. An assumption that some of them are serial killers mascalading as cyclists cannot be out-rightly disregarded. What about the 1600 or so motorcycles allegedly registered under their umbrella body, how genuine are they? Am sure a substantial number of them are snatched from the right owners after hitting them with iron bars here in the country and later find their way to Juba. This perhaps explains the rampant iron bar deaths that has since risen in recent month. Looking at various police crime reports in uganda, majority of them are always associated with boda boda cyclists. So before we blame the interior ministry of GOSS for taking such decision,we ought to understand that even our own people are not that holy!

  8. Just get a life and start to reason right? Had it not been for Ugandans, you south sudanese……..Ha ha ha i can remember in 2006 when i first went there, OMG, you live like lost rats, but, you can’t even notice how much impact Ugandans have had on your so called economy in terms of growth.

  9. How many Indians are in Uganda doing all kinds of business and no body has touched them???, do Ugandan get free money or offer services? do you want to say, had it been an opposite, our children would have been protected in Sudan schools? still problems would come, To manage those people we need to stop them from entering our markets in Uganda, late them start buying goods at our border and put much taxes on the goods after, be4 they cross to their dump country and we can stop any food to cross only allow other goods and see if they will not understood that they need us when its too late , this one will save our people who driver many miles in the heart of Sudan only to be ambushed and killed on the way.

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