Reports emerged in the local media last week that the government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and the government of Uganda have signed a major agreement aimed at establishing added infrastructure between Uganda and the presently still semi-autonomous region of the Southern Sudan, which is, however, thought to vote for independence in the upcoming referendum in January 2011.
One of the key ingredients of the agreement is the establishment of a new railway line, which will run from Tororo – at the border with Kenya – via Gulu and Nimule to Juba, before the Southern Sudanese will then extend it internally. The new proposed railway will be of international standard gaug’, setting the stage for fast train connections for both passengers and equally important, also cargo trains.
The present railway linking Uganda with the Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa continues to restrict such fast movements due to its narrow gauge line, which embattled RVR, the operator of the railways of Kenya and Uganda, has failed to upgrade any section of that railway.
The roadwork projected is also on course, as seven bridges along the Juba to Nimule road have already been completed and upgrading to a major highway status is soon to commence on both the Ugandan side between Gulu and Nimule, while work is progressing well on the section between Juba and Nimule in Southern Sudan. The new roads and rails are expected to be completed in a couple of years’ time.