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TAMBURA - 3 Nov 2021

Tambura market reopens five months after closure

Women sell their farm produce at Tambura market on Sunday, October 31, 2021. [Photo: Eye Radio]
Women sell their farm produce at Tambura market on Sunday, October 31, 2021. [Photo: Eye Radio]

The business community in Tambura County of Western Equatoria state have on Sunday resumed commercial trading following the reopening of the Tambura market after a five-month closure due to insecurity.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Monday, traders in the town expressed happiness saying security guards had been deployed at the market to protect their property. 

Kongor William, a businessman at the market said traders closed down the market after insecurity became rampant. 

“The market was not closed in a day because people were up and down running, they opened their shops sometimes they closed. When the situation deteriorated, they closed completely. But since yesterday (Sunday) the market has resumed," he said. 

However, he says, since the South Sudan People's Defence Forces (SSPDF) deployed forces there, the traders feel secure. 

“Since Sunday, the situation has returned to normal and people are selling their goods in the market and everything including green vegetables are in the market,” he added. “The day we felt that the situation was becoming worse, we contacted the contingent commander of SSPDF that we want guards for our shops and the commander gave us soldiers to protect our goods.”

According to William, cases of burglary had risen last month, with two shops broken into.

For his part, Tambura County Commissioner Mathew Mabenge confirmed the reopening of the market.

“Tambura seems to be fine in terms of security, the market is operating and when people met yesterday in the market, the Balanda and the Azande, you could see that people were in peace,” he said.

Mabenge blamed the deadly conflict that led to the closure of the market and displacement of people of villages on state politicians.

“The root cause is the politicians because if you were at the market you would see the people showing each other love, greeting their friends, there is a relationship," he claimed.

Mabenge called on all the people of Tambura County, including businessmen and women who fled to neighboring states and counties to return home. 

“My message to them, let them come back because the division six commander and his deputy have deployed the protection forces around the town,” he said.

Tambura County has experienced violent clashes in recent months, displacing thousands of people. However, life is slowly going back to normal after the government ordered the evacuation of rival forces there.