South Sudan compensation: Many traders missing on list

Thursday February 28 2019

Fleeing. UPDF trucks assist Ugandans to flee

Fleeing. UPDF trucks assist Ugandans to flee the 2013 South Sudan civil war. Many Ugandan traders lost goods worth billion of shilling in the almost seven-year war. FILE PHOTO  

By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Kampala. Some of the Ugandan traders who supplied several companies and individuals in South Sudan before the country plunged into a civil war may not be compensated, Daily Monitor understands.\

According to the chairman Kampala City Traders Association Everest Kayondo, majority of the suppliers will not be part of the group to be paid Shs40b that government has made available for compensation.
Mr Kayondo said traders, who particularly supplied individuals and some companies in South Sudan, might have to wait longer or may never be compensated at all.

“Verification between our Ministry of Trade and the South Sudan Ministry of Commerce is not complete. They [are the ones to] have the last word on this issue,” he said in a phone interview yesterday.
Mr Kayondo also pointed out that the biggest problem at the moment was about documentation with many traders finding it difficult to compile key items such receipts and other related documents.

“Issues of proper receipts and related documents are a serious matter. And for that I am afraid some of our traders, especially those who supplied local companies and individuals may not be paid,” he said.
Many traders lost property worth billions of shillings after South Sudan got entangled in a debilitating civil war in 2013.
Some have since lost their properties to banks over failure to sufficiently survive their loans.

About 10 companies, under the Uganda South Sudan Grain Traders and Suppliers Association, which supplied maize and sorghum to 10 South Sudan states under the Strategic Grain Reserves Suppliers worth $56m (Shs205b) between 2008 and 2010, will be partly compensated.
Under the agreement, the money was to be paid in five instalments.
The South Sudan government has only paid $15m (Shss55b), leaving a debt of $41m (Shs150b).
The process was halted following a civil war that broke out between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and former vice president, Dr Riek Machar.

Recently, the Parliament’s Committee on National Economy recommended that government of Uganda pays the balance of $41m (Shs150b) whose supplies have been supplied.
The South Sudan government, according to the recommendations by MPs, is expected to repay the money, based on a repayment schedule agreed upon between the two governments in a five-year Bilateral Agreement that runs from 2018 to 2022.

Under the agreement, 10 suppliers who dealt directly with the South Sudan government will be paid.
However, the process leaves out majority of the suppliers, who under the Joint Association for Redemption of Ugandan Traders in South Sudan, have presented claims of $5.928m (Shs18b), the bulk of which is unverified.

Companies listed for compensation

Companies Amount
Rubya Investments Limited $2.4m
Kibungo Enterprises $9.7m
Aponye (U) Limited $13m
Afro Kai Limited $2m
Apo General Enterprises $3.2m
Ropani International $3.2m
K.K Transporters $4.8m
Swift Commodities Establishment $811,345
Sunrise Commodities $928,991
Ms Sophie Omari $802,26

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com

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