By Spy Uganda
The Ugandan authorities received over 70 trucks that were previously detained at South Sudan’s Nimule entry point after they were flagged with unfit maize flour.
The trucks were reportedly heading to the Elegu border on Saturday for further verification by the representatives of the two countries in the presence of the East African committee.
This comes after the South Sudan Bureau of Standards detained more than 70 trucks for months after their consignments failed to meet the consumption standards.
The South Sudan National Bureau of Standards said that the flour was contaminated with aflatoxins.
According to experts, aflatoxins can occur in foods such as groundnuts, maize, rice and dried food as a result of fungal contamination before and after harvest. Large doses of aflatoxins can be life-threatening.
The South Sudan ambassador to Uganda, Simon Juach, said in his statement that the testing was done by qualified personnel.
In May, the Chief Executive Officer of the South Sudan Bureau of Standards, Mary Gordon, said the amount of tested maize flour from Uganda was confirmed to be substandard.
“We have tested a lot of maize containers, and we found through measurements that there are some levels of aflatoxins that are higher than normal limits,” she said, adding, “We stopped them from moving, and we are doing further investigations.”
However, the Ugandan Minister of Trade, Harriet Ntabazi, stated during their parliamentary sitting in Kampala that South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, and President Yoweri Museveni, had agreed to allow the trucks to be verified by the East African Committee in the presence of the two countries’ representatives.
“Because of the ping pong that was played at the border, our head of state has been engaged, and he has taken a step and communicated to the President of South Sudan, and they have agreed that all the tucks that are deep in their country be brought into no man’s land,” Ntabazi told the lawmakers.
“Two teams [should] be set up, one from South Sudan and the other from Uganda, to go and witness a verified committee of the East Africa Committee, which is going to carry out the verification in that area, and the exercise is going to begin tomorrow,” she said.