Ugandan and South Sudanese authorities have committed to ending the cross-border smuggling of fuel.
The leaders made the pledge on Friday during a joint cross-border security meeting between the central equatorial state and the West Nile districts of Moyo, Koboko, and Yumbe held in Yumbe town.
Moses Wanjala, the Uganda Revenue Authority supervisor for the West Nile region, says the rate at which imported fuel to South Sudan is smuggled through Kaya-Oraba border point in Koboko district is worrying. He did, however, challenge them to fight hard against fuel smuggling in order to make trade across borders go more smoothly.
Mambo Ashraf, the LCV Chairperson, noted that both countries should expeditiously address the matter to save their economies. He says most fuel stations in Koboko Town can now hardly sell 100 liters of fuel a day due to the high volume of cheap fuel smuggled from South Sudan through the Oraba border.
The Yumbe Resident District Commissioner, Hudu Hussein, gave the South Sudanese officials his word that the vice would stop.
“I give you the assurance that the government, both at the central level and the local government, is wholly committed to peace and security,” reads part of his speech.
The delegation from South Sudan was led by the Governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony. He promised to work with the National Revenue Authority to look into ways to work together as a permanent solution to the vice.
In the West Nile border area of Uganda, smuggling goods has been going on for a long time, right on the edge of what is legal and what is not.
Currently, a liter of petrol on the black markets in West Nile sells for 4,800 shillings compared to between 5,000 and 6,300 shillings at designated fuel stations in the sub-region.
Besides fuel, some of the things that are smuggled are motorcycles, wood, cooking oil, cigarettes, gold, and other things.
The URA lost between 500 million and 1 billion Shillings a month to smuggling in the West Nile region, according to a report on recovering smuggled goods that was published last year.