Update on the security situation: the fighting and shelling in Juba has stopped but the situation is still very tense. The Vice President Machar has pulled his troops out to an unspecified area around Juba, government forces control Juba town itself. In such a standoff, it’s possible though far from certain) we go back to fighting between Machar and Kiir forces, effectively back to civil war. The international community and the UN will certainly try to cool the situation down in the coming days and restart dialogue.
Though the fighting in Juba has stopped, there is extensive looting and plundering, especially at night. The WFP warehouse was looted off its equipment and as much as 4,500MT of food items.
Because of the above, all foreigners are being evacuated. The German army has evacuated many European nationals (including the Kenfreight South Sudan branch manager and his family) and Uganda has sent troops to escort its people out as well.
In regards to cargo movement, there is very little going on. Most cargo we are transporting is destined for the UN mission and the base in Juba is not allowing any trucks in or out at the moment because the camp is full of refugees. Many others are at the UN gates trying to get in, so any attempt to open the gate leads to a stampede to get inside.
Anyone with cargo enroute to South Sudan on the high seas or under clearance, is suggested to keep cargo in Mombasa for now as indicated before.
We also see no movement in terms of documentation/exemption letters or the like.
As noted on the news, heavy fighting erupted in South Sudan from 1st July 2016 onwards. The troops of the President and the Vice President clashed in Juba town. Government spokespeople say the situation is under control, the opposition claims chaos and war. What we know from the people on the ground is that the town is locked down by the government troops and movement is near impossible. Certain areas report gunfighting (Gudele, near airport) intermittently. Apart from gunfights, looting and plundering is also a considerable safety risk and has already been reported.
Fighting is also reported in several towns upcountry (Mundri, Nimule border).
The situation bears a lot of resemblance to December 2013 when civil war erupted again. We hope that the government will be able to stop the situation from escalating but meanwhile we have to monitor and hold off any movements until it is considered safe again.
Most organizations/companies want to evacuate their expatriate staff but since movement in town is near impossible and the airport is also closed, this is proving very hard. Once this is possible, we expect mass evacuations though and we are also pulling out our own staff where possible for their safety.
Trucks enroute to destinations within South Sudan or on the way back are currently holding positions where possible or moving to safer locations.
We will try to find a storage area for cargo on trucks between Mombasa and Nimule whilst we suggest any cargo in Mombasa or enroute on high seas to Mombasa, be kept in Mombasa for now. We can offer storage solutions in transit, contact us separately regarding any consignments we have for you in the pipeline.