January 15, 2012 (JUBA/KAMPALA) – South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni met on Monday to discuss border relations between the two neighbouring countries.
- Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir (New Vision)
The meeting, according to a statement, also assessed the relationship between citizens from both countries living along border areas, where tensions often arouse over land-related disputes.
Also high on the agenda, the statement noted, was a discussion on the bilateral relations between two countries.
“It [the meeting] also looked at ways of how Uganda and South Sudan can further enhance the strong bilateral relations between them,” partly reads the statement from state house in Uganda
The meeting comes less than a month after a similar one took place between the two leaders in Juba, the South Sudan capital last year.
South Sudan has in recent years, emerged as the largest importer of Ugandan goods, with over 150,000 Ugandan traders, according to the trade and industry ministry, operating across the border.
Recent statistics from Bank of Uganda, however, indicate Uganda’s trade with South Sudan, in the last two months, declined by 80%.
The decline, the bank says, is due to scarcity of dollars in South Sudan, with analysts attributing it to the young nation’s shut down of its oil production early last year.
Land locked South Sudan still relies heavily on its neighbors to provide goods such as construction materials and services such as skilled and unskilled labor, with approximately 1,500 Ugandans reportedly working in South Sudan’s construction industry.
In recent years, however, Ugandan traders have complained about constant harassment, intimidation and corruption at the border with South Sudan, an allegation officials have often denied.