Gov’t tars proposed ‘Pope Francis Rd’ ahead of papal visit

The Juba City council and the national government have started road rehabilitation ahead of the anticipated visit of Pope Francis to South Sudan in February.

With only two weeks left for Pope to arrive in Juba, the mayor of Juba City Council, Michael Ladu Allah-Jabu, says his office has contracted African Resource Cooperation Company (ARC) to tar a feeder road used to access the Holy See-Vatican Embassy in Juba.

The construction of the road that branches from the Kololo junction to to Thongpiny, which commenced on Monday, is expected to finish within five days.

Speaking to reporters in Juba on Monday after meeting the Central Equatoria State Governor Emmanuel Adil, Ladu appealed “…to the people of Juba to clean their surrounding areas, their home and their hearts to welcome the blessings from the three Church’s leader for the first time in South Sudan”.

He said: “[Residents] of Juba should cooperate with City Council authorities and avoid using the road during the three days of the visit and avoid throwing garbage randomly on the middle of the main roads.”

The initiative of tarmacking the road came after Governor Emmanuel Adil made a proposal at the level of presidency to name the road in memory of Pope Francis’s visit.

Similar activities of road clean-ups are also being carried out in other residential areas in Juba

“…[we] work hard to continue renovating all the roads within the City of Juba to implement the task that has been given to us to maintain, Clean and beautify all the roads.” Mayor added

Pope Francis is set to visit South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in late January to early February 2023.

The Vatican said His Holiness together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland will start the Apostolic Journey to Democratic Republic Congo on 31 January and proceed to South Sudan where he will spend two days from 3-5 February.