The Northern Bahr el Ghazal State acting minister of trade and investment on Tuesday said that the two entry points of Aweil-Meiram and Al-Dein-Gokmachar in the state and along the Sudan-South Sudan border are now operating normally.
Minister Bol Akuar Gamar said the first commercial convoy from Sudan arrived in Northern Bahr el Ghazal via the Meiram-Aweil corridor o 22 May, days after the governments of the two countries agreed to reopen the borders.
“The corridors (roads) are operating and goods and travelers are coming and leaving the state and we have agreed to assign the organized forces from both sides to protect the borders,” he said. “Thank God Sudanese herders and other people are now using the roads.”
A cross-section of traders and inhabitants of Northern Bahr el Ghazal said the reopening of the border points has positively impacted their lives because commodities were now available at affordable prices in the markets.
Abraham Garang, a trader in Warawar Payam in the far north of Aweil East County, said the Meiram-Aweil commercial corridor is working smoothly and that many trucks come from Sudan with lots of goods.
“The Meiram-Aweil commercial road is working smoothly. Trucks and rickshaws and other vehicles are transporting goods and there is a great change because many people go and come freely,” he said. “Many vehicles come from Wau, Aweil, Juba, and Meiram and vice versa day and night. There are so many goods in the market compared to the previous months.”
Traders in Aweil North County where the Al-Dein-Gokmachar route passes said business was thriving but that they are only affected by torrential rains.
“Business is very good here except that the heavy rains spoil and block the road. If it rains today or tomorrow, the road will close immediately,” he said. “Before the rains, 15 to 10 trucks used to export goods from Al-Dein to Gokmachar but none of them has come today (Tuesday).”
“Prices are increasing now. For example, 50 kg of sugar is now sold at 30,000 SSP and yet it was around 22,500-24,000 SSP and 100 kg of sorghum is now taken at 35,000 SSP and it was 22,000 SSP,” he added.
Mawia Mohammed, a Sudanese trader in Aweil, said between 15 and 20 haulage trucks enter South Sudan from Sudan every day after the reopening of the border.
“The road was closed but now it is operating. A convoy of 15 to 20 trucks is escorted by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) from Meiram until the South Sudan border in Majok,” he said. “The reopening of the borders is very good for trade and we hope both countries continue with such cooperation.”
Kuol Akot, a resident of Aweil town, said the prices of some commodities are dropping.
“100 kg of sorghum now goes for between 27,000 and 29,000 SSP and it was sold at 35,000SSP while 50 kg of wheat flour now costs 25,000 SSP down from more than 30,000 SSP in the past,” he added. “50 kg of cement has come down to 13,000 SSP from 17,000.”
Source: Radio Tamazuj