Cross border trade Uganda and Southern Sudan

By Robert M Kintu, June 2017

Trade between Uganda and Southern Sudan has been increasing over time.– the main towns whose population was growing daily with the perceptive peace, swelled by the return of displaced people and refugees and other people who have gone there to trade, do other works like construction etc.

It needs to be known that Foodstuffs remain the major import and include perishable items, livestock, grains, processed foods and beverages (including alcohol). The food trade was mainly informal with major suppliers main at the border points of both Uganda and Sudan.

Commodities mostly bought:

  1. Maize, Sorghum, Posho 2nd grade
  2. Bananas (from Mbale and Mbarara
  3. Irish potatoes from Kisoro and Kabale
  4. Onions
  5. Beans
  6. Cabbages
  7. Livestock
  8. Others in small quantities include Rice, Cooking oil from Lira town in Jerrycans, Simsim, Groundnuts
  9. Other common seenly on the trucks were Bedsheets, Mosquito Nets, Trousers, Bitenge, plastics and mineral water

Trade was almost daily but the peak was when crops were in season; the crops then flooded the markets attracting buyers from Sudan.

Types of traders

There were two forms of traders in the cross border trade

  1. Those who take consumables in large quantities
  2. Those who take merchandise and clothing for trade

Among these traders, there were also Ugandans and Kenyans plus Congolese who go to sell to Sudan and then those ones from Sudan who came to buy from Uganda.

The main routes used in trading

The main overland routes between Uganda and Sudan are those at Bibia/Nimule in Muru/Magwi County serving Juba and at Oraba/Kaya in Koboko/Morobo County serving Yei and Juba.

Several smaller crossing points and routes exist at Ngomoromo and Madi Opei in Kitgum district and Difule in Moyo in Uganda serving Torit and Kajo Keji in Sudan respectively.