Authorities have announced that gunmen ambushed a convoy of buses and other vehicles on a major highway in South Sudan - linking the capital Juba with Nimule - on Thursday, June 8. The convoy was being escorted by members of a joint army and police force unit. At least 14 passengers were killed and 35 were wounded before security forces repelled the attackers. No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Violent crime is a significant threat throughout the country and highway banditry and ambushes are common, particularly outside the capital. The Juba-Nimole highway is known to be particularly dangerous; a June 5 attack left one dead and four injured. The highway nevertheless remains a lifeline for South Sudan; all imports transit via this road, also used by people fleeing the more than three-year-long civil war and seeking refuge in neighboring Uganda. Since January, the government has deployed military escorts for convoys using the route but at least four deadly attacks have occurred since then.
Most Western governments advise against nonessential travel to South Sudan. If travel is necessary, ensure that proper security protocols are in place and maintain a low profile at all times as criminals may target foreigners due to their perceived affluence.