South Sudan’s fuel crisis which has lingered on for two weeks now may soon be a thing of the past, says a media official at the office of the country’s vice-president.
Shortage of fuel has severely affected the government’s business in South Sudan as towns are facing blackouts while hundreds of vehicles line up at gas stations to try to get fuel.
The situation is visibly felt in the new nation’s capital, Juba, where public electricity supply has been cut for two weeks, leaving the city in darkness.
Some government offices reportedly have ceased to function due to the lack of electricity, failing to run the day-to-day activities and forcing officials to leave offices in early hours of the day.
Officials blame the sudden lack of fuel on foreign traders who monopolize the fuel market in the 13-month old nation.
However, the vice-president’s press secretary, James Gatdet Dak, told the Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that the situation may soon change as millions of liters of various types of fuel are expected to arrive in Juba in the next few days.
He said the government in collaboration with the local South Sudan Investment Corporation was importing ten vessels containing fuel from one of the Middle-eastern countries and that four of these vessels have already docked at Port Mombasa.
He further explained that the chairperson of the South Sudan Investment Corporation, Ayii Duang Ayii, briefed the vice-president, Riek Machar, on the process of trucking the fuel to South Sudan from the Kenyan port of Mombasa.
Despite being an oil producing country, South Sudan for the last seven years has depended on fuel imported from the neighbouring countries for its domestic consumption.
The country has no single oil refinery which would have produced the needed fuel for domestic consumption.
Gatdet however said the government was also working on a long term plan to build at least two refineries in the oil producing states of Unity and Upper Nile which would produce enough fuel for domestic consumption and export its surplus to the neighboring countries.