UN weapons saga: Cargo moved to Kampala

Kampala. United Nations weapons and other cargo stuck at the Uganda border with DR Congo has been moved to Kampala in an effort to end a deadlock that has lasted nearly two months now.

The move follows a visit by a team of officials at Vurra on the Uganda-DR Congo border. The cargo brought to Kampala has been placed at a warehouse pending negotiations to pay the drivers.

The arrival of the UN officials saw the consignment that includes weapons and other accessories, containers of medical equipment, wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and Land Rovers bearing UN labels first moved from the no-man’s land to the Uganda side before five of the now nine trucks were escorted to Kampala by the military.

A new truck, we understand, arrived at the Vurra border loaded with cargo from the MONSUCO base in Dungu, DRC making them nine from the original eight.

The equipment, which left Dungu Territory in DR Congo on December 24, 2018, is destined for Agadir, a city on Morocco’s southern Atlantic coast via the port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Sources told Sunday Monitor that the team of high ranking officials drawn from several countries, including Uganda, DR Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan, constituted the delegation.

The officials travelling in Toyota Land Cruiser cars, briefly, interacted with the transporters manning the trucks, asking them about the cargo and their arrival time before holding a closed-door meeting at a nearby lodge.

Access to the meeting at Alengo Lodge was restricted and it remains unclear whether a final decision on the fate of the cargo and the plight of the transporters was resolved.

The impasse is over who will pay the pending fees of the transporters. Meanwhile, the costs have been piling with each truck charged an extra $200 or about Shs730,000 per day.

To transport the cargo to Dar es salaam, the transporters require Shs25.7m ($7,000) per truck.
“We need to get paid and move on,” one of the drivers told Sunday Monitor.

Daher Technologies, a French industrial conglomerate working “in the aerospace, defence, nuclear, and automotive industrial sectors in the fields of manufacturing, services and transport,” is the main contractor.

Daher subcontracted another company, STE Groupe Dirco Ltd based in Lumumbashi, Haut Katanga, DR Congo, which in turn sought the services of KTG of Uganda. KTG in turn subcontracted the Ugandan transporters stuck with the cargo.

By Daily Monitor

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