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Uganda: South Sudan, Uganda Yet to Resolve Captured Grains

Uganda still has to negotiate with the government of South Sudan for the release of dozens of trucks that were impounded for containing grains contaminated with aflatoxins.

In May, the government of South Sudan impounded 90 trucks from Uganda that had crossed into its territory carrying grains, mostly maize, that were not fit for consumption.

The trucks carried other foodstuffs such as beans, sorghum, cassava flour and finger millet. Aflatoxins are a type of fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as maize (corn). Exposure to aflatoxins is said to increase the risk of liver cancer.

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards confirmed that some of the produce in the Ugandan trucks had tested positive for aflatoxins.

“Traders dealing in the supply of the above commodities should comply with the requirements of safety and quality standards and must seek certification of such commodities from UNBS before putting them on both the domestic and export markets,” UNBS advised.

The capture of the trucks has created a trade standoff between the two neighbours, with tensions cooling recently after South Sudan released 23 trucks in June. South Sudan promised to release the rest of the trucks in the weeks ahead, but no formal announcement has been made on whether they have been let go. Negotiations by the different trade bodies of the two countries are ongoing.

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