Authorities in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State have formally requested the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to revoke the ban on fuel transportation across the Oraba-Kaya customs border point. This move follows the URA’s decision in April of the previous year to halt the transit of fuel through the Oraba-Kaya Border in Koboko district. The ban aimed to combat rampant smuggling, primarily involving fuel, which was then sold at reduced prices in the Ugandan market.
Joseph Mawa, the Commissioner of Morobo County in Central Equatoria State, explained that the prohibition on fuel transit through the Oraba-Kaya border has severely impacted essential services in his county. Over the past eighteen months, health facilities and schools have relied on generators for their operations, necessitating the use of fuel.
Governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, believes that the two nations should promote trade harmony by preventing inconsistencies in fuel transportation. He also appealed to the Ugandan government to expedite the process of reopening the Oraba Border for fuel transit, similar to how they resolved 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 can continue to enter the Republic of South Sudan,” Adil stated.
Ashraf Mambo, the LCV Chairperson of Koboko, urged South Sudan’s leadership to implement stringent measures to prevent fuel from re-entering Uganda through smuggling. This practice also adversely affects local fuel station operators, making it challenging for them to sell fuel when faced with competition from cheap smuggled fuel from South Sudan.
Ibrahim Bbossa, the URA Spokesperson, responded by appealing to South Sudanese authorities to address their concerns with the Commissioner General of URA directly.
According to data from the URA, approximately 9,600 liters of fuel are smuggled into Uganda through porous borders, resulting in an estimated annual loss of 5 billion shillings for the country.