Authorities in the Central Equatoria State of South Sudan have renewed a demand for the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to lift a ban on the transportation of fuel imposed on the Oraba-Kaya customs border point.

In April last year, the URA halted the transit of fuel through the Oraba-Kaya Border in Koboko district as a measure to tackle the rampant smuggling of goods especially of fuel which is then sold cheaply on the Ugandan market.

Joseph Mawa, the Commissioner of Morobo County in Central Equatoria State explains that the ban on the transit of fuel via the Oraba-Kaya border has greatly crippled services in health facilities and schools in his county over the last one and half years since the relay on generators for their operations which used fuel.

The Governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony explains that the two countries should instead promote trade harmony by preventing inconsistencies in fuel transportation. He further appealed to the Ugandan government to speed up the process of reopening the Oraba Border for fuel transit just like they handled the customs standoff at the Afoji border point in Moyo district.

“The customs standoff in the Afoji border has been resolved and I would request the Ugandan Government through the Uganda Revenue Authority to reopen the customs at Oraba so that goods such as fuel continue to go into the Republic of South Sudan”, Adil said.

Ashraf Mambo, the LCV Chairperson, Koboko appealed to the leaders in South Sudan to put in stringent measures to prevent fuel to back-strip into Uganda through smuggling, which equally hurts the local fuel station operators.

“We have petrol stations that do not even sell fuel. It’s very hard for a petrol station to sell 100 liters or 200 liters a day due to the presence of cheap smuggled fuel from South Sudan”, Mambo noted.

But, Ibrahim Bbossa, the URA Spokesperson, appealed to the South Sudanese authorities to petition the Commissioner General URA on the matter.

According to data from URA, at least 9,600 liters of fuel are smuggled into Uganda through the porous borders, which causes the country to lose an estimated 5 billion shillings annually.

Source : Independent

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