JONGLEI – South Korean engineers assigned to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have started to rehabilitate the road connecting Jonglei State to the neighboring administrative area of ââGrand Pibor.
The main objective of the project: to stimulate trade, enable communities to come together and connect with each other and build peace by strengthening regional integration.
“I cannot stress the importance of this road,” said Ading Alier, manager of the cattle auction center in Bor. âIt has helped my family to survive the economic situation in South Sudan. Once the UNMISS peacekeepers have completed their repair work, I will be able to go to Pibor, buy some cattle and bring them back to Bor. It will greatly increase my income.
Raising and selling cattle is part of the tapestry of income-generating activities in the greater Jonglei region. It plays a complex role — it is a source of livelihood for many, a driver of conflict and negatively impacted by the conflict itself. These last two roles are often linked by a vicious cycle of often repeated violence.
Besides business and commerce, the rehabilitated road is expected to promote social cohesion and stabilize the prices of commodities. âHere in the Pibor market, a kilogram of sugar sells for 1,000 South Sudanese pounds, or about $ 2.5. Inflation is slowly killing us and this route symbolizes our hope that regional trade will increase, allowing us to sell and buy the things we need at a reasonable price, affordable price, ârevealed Korok Logochom, a Pibor retailer.
Road rehabilitation started from Mareng boma, which is located a few kilometers east of the town of Bor. South Korean peacekeepers are expected to repair some 183 kilometers of this crucial road. The value of their hard work in difficult conditions and terrain is probably best summed up by Mary Ajoh Deng, a resident of Mareng.
âFor women, this wide road, once repaired by South Korean engineers, will allow us to move around freely and without fear of assault, rape or sexual violence. The high level of circulation will prevent disbelievers from any form of violence. We will be able to improve our economic conditions and participate fully in community life, âshe said.
Another plus: Communities that need help the most will most likely receive help, as the redeveloped road will be a safe corridor for humanitarian partners to deliver aid packages and engage with people.
South Korean peacekeepers continue to engage with communities in the greater Jonglei region to build trust. Over the years, South Korea’s peacekeepers have provided free medical camps, distributed school supplies to schoolchildren, renovated schools, and supported state authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic by handing over ambulances and equipment. They also built an outpatient department for Bor State Hospital.
Ongoing repair work began in mid-November and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.