An Emerging Diplomatic Row between Uganda and South Sudan
Organization: The Sudd Institute
Type: Policy Briefs
The recent decision by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of South Sudan to ban the use of motorcycles by foreign riders as commercial taxis known as Boda Boda has riled up the Ugandan workers in South Sudan who were victims of that decision. The events that followed, i.e. the departure of some of these workers and the way they reported being treated along the way, have also greatly angered some opposition lawmakers and government officials in Kampala, calling for mass expulsion of South Sudanese from Uganda and the termination of trade between the two countries. These decisions and events have also frightened a lot of South Sudanese families who have children and loved ones living in Uganda, as many incidents of attack on South Sudanese by Boda Boda riders in Kampala have been reported. The Sudd Institute has keenly followed these developments in hope of being able to contextualize them as a way to caution both sides against the hazards of hasty action, and to point out areas of mutual understanding, by clarifying the real situation and reminding both sides of longstanding political, social, and economic bonds between the two states. Further, the brief discusses possible, yet more normative paradigms of responding to matters of bilateral importance without generating serious misunderstandings in the process.
Jok Madut Jok is cofounder of the Sudd Institute. Born and raised in Sudan, Jok studied in Egypt and the United States. He is trained in the anthropology of health and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Jok recently joined the Government of South Sudan as undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. He was a J. Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a fellow at the Rift Valley Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of History at Loyola Marymount University in California, from which he is on an extended leave. He has also worked in aid and development, first as a humanitarian aid worker and has been a consultant for a number of aid agencies. He is the author of three books and numerous articles covering gender, sexuality and reproductive health, humanitarian aid, ethnography of political violence, gender-based violence, war and slavery, and the politics of identity in Sudan. His book Sudan: Race, Religion and Violence, was published in 2007. Jok is co-editor of The Sudan Handbook, 2010.
Augustino Ting Mayai is the Director of Research at the Sudd Institute and an Assistant Professor at the University of Juba’s School of Public Service. He holds a PhD in Sociology, with concentrations on demography and development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently studies how state effectiveness affects child health outcomes in South Sudan and Ethiopia. Dr. Mayai has written extensively on South Sudan’s current affairs.