Entebbe. South Sudan has asked Ugandan traders to go back and resume their business operations, saying the situation is under control.
Mr John Luk Jok, the minister of Transport, said calm has been restored in their country and that the situation is improving very fast.
“The incident in Juba (South Sudan capital) was unfortunate and of concern to us. But I want to assure the people that the situation is normalising very fast. The level of security is well. We welcome all people who have been doing business to come back and resume work,” said Mr Jok.
Speaking at the inauguration of Golden Wings Aviation flights between Juba and Entebbe in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport on Sunday, Mr Jok also apologised for the incident, saying the newly established air link would ease movement of traders and cost of doing business for development of the two countries.
He said inauguration of the Juba - Entebbe flight services is fulfilment of the 2014 bilateral agreement between South Sudan and Uganda to cooperate in airline services and common airspace for the northern corridor.
“The advantages of Golden Wings Aviation flights into Uganda are enormous for it is going to increase competition in the business thereby reducing the exorbitant prices for air tickets paid in dollars. But also our social integration and the cost of doing business will be made easier,” he said.
Uganda’s State minister for Transport, Mr Aggrey Bagiire, described the flights in and out of Entebbe as a vote of confidence in the air transport industry in Uganda and the economy where air traffic has been growing over the years.
“We are increasingly modernising Entebbe International Airport in order to meet future demands of new airlines like Golden Wings Aviation and existing operators. As you may be aware, Uganda has embraced the African Union’s policy of liberalising the air transport industry,” Mr Bagiire said.
The minister said the new flight is in line with the government plan of maximum utilisation of services and facilities at Entebbe International Airport in order to facilitate development and trade in and out of the country.
The inauguration of new flight services comes amid ongoing implementation of a 20 year national civil aviation master plan through construction of a modern cargo centre, expansion of the passenger terminal building and installation of a new modern baggage handling system.
Ugandans and nationals from the East African region and those from other parts of the world have been fleeing South Sudan after fighting between forces loyal to South Sudan president Salva Kiir and his first vice president Riek Machar broke out in the capital, Juba, about two weeks ago.
Many businesses owned and run by foreign traders in South Sudan have been looted and left empty during the fight.