WBGS inspects South Sudan railway line

WBGS inspects South Sudan railway line
Western Bar-El-Ghazal State government officials inspecting the railway line with the team of engineers from Sudan (photo credit: Cliff Ochaya)

The railway line linking South Sudan and Sudan was inspected by a team of engineers from Sudan and the officials of Western Bar-El-Gazal State as part of the restoration process.

The inspection visit was to examine and study the status of the railway line in order to implement the agreement signed between the two countries at the national level for the resumption of transport. This was revealed by Dr Mahammden Abkar Mahammaden, the minister of roads, who spoke to reporters on Tuesday in Wau town.

He said the repair of the railway line would necessitate resources due to the high cost of equipment. However, he assured that his administration will prepare a report that will be submitted to the national minister of transportation, who will then present it to the council of ministers for approval.

“This is a national program since the president and the national minister of transportation inked a deal with Sudan, and we are now putting it into action,” Muhamaden explained.

Meanwhile, Angui Julo Agui, the state minister of housing and land utilities, has urged residents who built homes along the railway line to relocate before January to allow engineers to work on the railway renovation.

 “I urge all people who have built residences here to start removing them as soon as possible without problems because this has something to do with the railway line. “This will benefit the people of Western Bar-El-Gazal since you will be in Sudan in one and a half days instead of boarding a plane for $250,” he said.

Abdel Salam Makki, Al-Bazim Railway General Manager, said their visit was to study the lines that are still in use and to strike the agreement the company signed with the government of South Sudan.

 “The suspension of transport on the railway has impacted the infrastructure so much because it is a metal road network and we hope to raise it to international standards,” said Salam.

Former Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and President Salva Kiir of the Southern Sudanese Regional Government reopened the railway line in March 2010 to reconnect the north and south of the country after years of isolation when the civil war broke out in 1983.

“Today we witnessed that the train has reached Wau,” President Bashir told a gathering of tens of thousands of people. “This is our special gift to the people of Wau, in particular, and to the people of Southern Sudan in general.”

The railway that connects Wau, the capital of Western Bar-EL-Ghazal State, to Babanusa, a town in Southern Kordofan, was built in 1964.