What you need to know:
- Speaking to the Monitor on Monday night, Mr Stephen Guya, the car owner said his car was being driven by Mr Moses Urale, transporting seven passengers to Juba from Koboko District in Northern Uganda.
Unknown gunmen Monday evening attacked passengers in a car they were travelling to the South Sudan capital, Juba before robbing them of their valuables and torching the car.
Speaking to the Monitor on Monday night, Mr Stephen Guya, the car owner said his car was being driven by Mr Moses Urale, transporting seven passengers to Juba from Koboko District in Northern Uganda.
"I’m told that they landed into an ambush by unknown gunmen at Kimbi Bridge along Kaya-Yei-Juba road. I bought this car last year at Shs12 million and I was planning to sell it at some good amount, but all is gone now,” he said.
The passengers lost their laptops, money and other valuable items.
The Koboko-Kaya-Yei-Juba road has been unsafe since the insurgency in South Sudan over five years ago. As a result, people have abandoned the usage of the road due to continuous ambushes on the bushy and lonely road.
The Chairperson of the Koboko Taxi Operators Association, Mr Swaibu Muhammad, said the South Sudan government should deploy army patrol cars along the route so that they could continue doing business.
"We have lost many drivers, lost properties and also passengers along this route. We kindly request the government of South Sudan to intensify security along the Kaya-Yei-Juba Route, especially during this festive period when such unidentified gunmen tend to take advantage of people carrying many valuable items," he said.
One of the survivors who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear for his life, said he lost his laptop and money totaling Shs270,000.
The Yei River County Commissioner, Mr Cyrus Kanyikwa, told the Monitor that South Sudan is doing everything possible to ensure passengers travelling via the route are safe.
He blamed the attack on National Salvation Front (NAS) rebels who have been operating on the route for a long.
"I received a report late in the evening that a car belonging to Ugandans fell into the hands of armed bandits of a group affiliated to National Salvation Front (NAS) whose commander in this area is called Victor Ayume Ramadan. We believe these operations are being conducted by him. He has always robbed and killed civilians in our area, but we are pursuing him and any time soon he will be dealt with," he said.
He said that the passengers were not harmed and arrived in Yei town late in the night.
In March 2021, four Ugandan drivers in transit from Uganda (Koboko) to South Sudan were gunned down at Lanya along the Yei-Juba route.
In May 2022, two Ugandans and one Tanzanian national travelling from Yei to Koboko were killed by gunmen and the South Sudan government blamed the attack National Salvation Front (NAS).