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Lakes state’s Bar-Naam bridge a threat to public transport


June 30, 2013 (RUMBEK) - Citizens in Lakes state have expressed concern over the safety of the Bar-Naam bridge which connects South Sudan’s central state to Western Bahr El Ghazal state to the west.

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The Bar Naam bridge which connects Lakes state with greater Equatoria and the entire Bahr El Ghazal region, 28 May 2013 (ST)

An official at Lakes state’s ministry of physical infrastructure, who insisted on anonymity, told Sudan Tribune that plans to fix the Bar-Naam bridge have been suspended due to insecurity and austerity measures.

The South Sudanese government stopped oil production last year over an transit fee dispute with Sudan, causing a fall in public spending.

The areas either side strategic bridge, that crosses the Bar-Naam river connecting the Equatoria region with Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Unity state, has become used by bandits to attacks both government officials and private cars.

Lakes state’s government has introduced harsh security measures since January when elected governor Chol Tong Mayay was removed by South Sudan’s president, allegedly for failing to address insecurity caused by highway robbery, cattle raiding and inter-communal clashes.

Since Mayay was replaced by Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol the security services have pursued a policy of holding youth suspected of banditry and cattle raiding in three military facilities - Langcok, Ajakangau (Ngatinga) and Pulkuc.

Human Rights Watch, has described the approach as "rough justice" and says that around 130 men have been held in military prisons without trial or access to a lawyer. Those who have escaped or been released have complained of ill treatment and torture.

James Ater Manyiel, a young man from Lakes state said he expected the security situation get worse because cattle herding groups are so well armed despite the governors request in March that all firearms must by registered. The cost of registration - 350 South Sudanese pounds - has put off many people from doing so.

If rains increase, Manyiel said, the bridge will become more dangerous as the Bar-Naam river will rise and more vehicles will use the crossing putting more strain on the bridge.

If the bridge collapses "transport between greater Equatoria and Bahr El Ghazal will [be] immediately affected", he said.


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  • 1 July 2013 07:20, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Three passed governors including their formers commissioners got failed at Bar-Naam bridge development.
    In fact, that job it is belong to commissioner coleberating with ministry of physical infastrasture are suppose to downplay its activaties. Also there is no private budget for such locals developments in the state even if it is there then community consider that minister and commissioner are failed to do their work. Example Greater Equatoria bridges connected to neighbouring countries in east Africa are developed by commissioners and ministers not president nor governor in the state.

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  • 1 July 2013 07:26, by Peter Mading

    Is this article useful? Is it new, the issue of Bar Naam Bridge as a threat? It has been there for 3yrs not now. Anyway Lakes State has not been gifted with good leaders. Leaders are either vengeful like Deng monydit and Matur, greedy like Chol, shy like John Lat and Noisy like Awet Awet. Almoghty God save us from these "hands".

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  • 1 July 2013 07:49, by wieu-madiak

    Please make steps but not to force the government,simplly you will be given your right.

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  • 1 July 2013 11:00, by Marco Bul

    Get example from Bortown mayor,Majak Nhial.Cooperate N contribute.Gone R the days of manna.

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    • 1 July 2013 11:36, by BM-21

      I don,t blame the gov,t of national,what abuot yhese greed people who are leading Lakes 1-Matur Chut and Marial Gumke commissioner of Rumbek east county what is their role they r jst enjoying the local taxes without repairing the roads and Bridge.

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  • 2 July 2013 04:39, by Andrew Ojok

    long term bridge doesn’t sound to me being bad to those formers or current govenments falt indeed but for lack of proverty in the State is causing infrasture to develop i know is commissioner work but if you don’t get any project you lodge to the federal government and you are unsucessful what’s would be anothers, that what’s pple neeed your helps to do comments not to blames govenment work

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