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S. Sudan’s proposed new road to Ethiopia hailed by Gambella regional leader


March 3, 2013 (JUBA) – A senior regional leader in Ethiopia has welcomed a proposed road project in South Sudan that would connect the two countries and promote trade between them.

Gambella region’s vice president in Ethiopia, Gatluak Tut, told Sudan Tribune on Sunday by phone from the regional capital, Gambella, that the two countries would benefit from the road as “volumes of mutual trade would significantly increase.”

South Sudan’s minister of information and official spokesman of the government, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, on Friday announced that the cabinet had approved as a top priority the construction of all-weather road that will connect the oilfields in Falluj of Upper Nile state and Gambella region of Ethiopia.

The Falluj-Pagak road will be tarmacked to alternatively transport oil by truck through Ethiopia to Djibouti and facilitate trade with neighbouring Ethiopia, which has a population of nearly 90 million people.

Tut, who also chairs the Ethiopia’s ruling party at the level of Gambella region, said his country was ready to utilise the new road. Ethiopia has already constructed a tarmacked road through Gambella region which ends close to the South Sudan’s border town of Pagak.

Gambella region is predominantly inhabited by Nuer and Anyuak ethnic who also share cultures with their neighbouring South Sudanese communities across the border, particularly in Upper Nile and Jonglei states.

There are also other minority ethnicities in the region which include Majanger, Komo and Opoe as well as highlanders other regions of Ethiopia.

The region also served as a gateway through which Ethiopia supported South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) during some periods of its 21-year liberation struggle.

South Sudan has embarked on seeking alternative routes to transport its oil to international markets following disagreements with neighbouring Sudan over the terms of oil transport through Port Sudan.

The two presidents, Salva Kiir and Omer Al-Bashir of South Sudan and Sudan, respectively, signed a cooperation agreement on 27th September last year which included a resolution on resumption of oil transport to Port Sudan but the two countries have since failed to implement the new deal.

Besides the road project, South Sudan and Ethiopia have also agreed on a proposed construction of oil pipeline from Upper Nile through Ethiopia to Djibouti.


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  • 4 March 2013 07:23, by Mi diit

    Great news!
    I even wonder why that important road was not constructed long time ago. Maybe former road ministers did not know how Ethiopia is important to South Sudan. These people supported our struggle. Historical places like Bilpam, Itang and Dimma where SpLM/A was based are administered under Gambella region of Ethiopia.

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  • 4 March 2013 07:25, by master

    tracks for whaaaaat
    nice nice very nice

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    • 4 March 2013 08:37, by ngomrom

      FOOLISH Master
      Can you plse tell us how Khartoum Started there Transportation of the Crude Oil to the Market, and formost what is your Business in our Affairs?
      Thanks Ngomrom

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    • 4 March 2013 08:47, by Peacocktail

      Good News for the New Nation-
      Please Master, You fool, why are you so concern in South Sudan issues and yet Khartuom is now under militarily agression from JEM...recents news of fighting in Central Sudan...you either join PDF for Jahadism/Al Qaeda or seek refuge in South Sudan before you are caught up in Khartuom. Good News for Southerners not see Bashir in Power before July Independence. RSS

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  • 4 March 2013 10:08, by Makunon

    good news. 2015 all Southerners will be pay at home up keeps allowances until find job.

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    • 4 March 2013 12:05, by Nuer Empire

      Good new ever if it will get being implemented.Gambella is the source of our developments and our country too.
      The Nuer Empire

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  • 4 March 2013 13:33, by The lone observer

    lets consider that the idea will be implemented and is not just another statement to bait Sudan; have we thought about the complexity involved with moving crude oil from upper nile to Dijibuti? most semi trailer tankers have a capacity of 41, 000litres or 11,500 gallons of refined fuel. to fill an average size oil tanker ship of 45,000 deadweight tonnage will require over 500trailers to be dispatc

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  • 4 March 2013 13:38, by The lone observer

    dispatched and offloaded. (remember there is a chartered ship waiting at the port, it cannot wait more than two weeks at the docks). what enviromental disaster prepardedness programs have been put in place in case of an accident, or how will the road durability be maintained over the period., what about rougue elements (we claim many are sponsered by Bashir!) along the routes, in short what is the

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  • 4 March 2013 19:52, by hellonearth

    with this news the corrupt and jealous NCP/Khartoum Government with their weak SAF will for sure attack South Sudan. just like they are hating on Ethiopia building their own dams. but mark my words, Jalaby, Northern Sudanese, Master, and all your like. We will crush you. SPLA OYEEE

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