UNMISS launches road rehabilitation project to support peacebuilding and livelihoods

Peace South Sudan UNMISS UN peacekeeping peacekeepers elections women road rehabilitation development peace reconciliation inter-communal fight violence connecting Yei Kajo keji

A road rehabilitation project carried out by Bangladeshi peacekeepers is expected to enhance security and reduce inter-communal violence in the southern part of Central Equatoria. Photo by Surur Ali/UNMISS.

19 Jun 2024

UNMISS launches road rehabilitation project to support peacebuilding and livelihoods

Surur Ali

CENTRAL EQUATORIA – Improving security, reducing inter-communal violence, and fostering harmonious coexistence between civilians and security forces are the hoped-for and expected outcomes when the rehabilitation of the road that connects the counties of Yei, Lainya and Kajo-Keji.

The project, encompassing a 145-kilometer-long stretch of road, is carried out by Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

In South Sudan, not least in the Greater Yei Area of Central Equatoria State, which is an important food source for the region, people continue to suffer from the impact of armed conflicts. Many have been displaced to other communities and neighboring countries. As peace slowly returns, these individuals are beginning to return home but are still struggling to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

Samuel Alawiya Moses, a youth leader in Gimunu, noted that the road repair work has already had a positive impact.

“It has significantly reduced the travel time to reach Pokula, located 36 kilometers from Gimunu. This makes it possible for us to finish our daily activities in a timely manner.”

Rose Sunday, a women's representative, also praised the initiative, particularly the improved accessibility to essential services such as education and medical care.

“We have been living in darkness for a long time, feeling hopeless, staying in the bush with our children and husbands for years, drinking stagnant water from ditches,” she said.

In addition to undertaking the major road improvement task, UNMISS has been actively engaging in peacebuilding activities within the greater area. Dialogues and trainings with various security forces, religious groups, and local communities, have been conducted to promote harmonious relations.

“We are dedicated to supporting the people of South Sudan in fully implementing the revitalized peace agreement and creating an environment that is conducive for free and fair elections, paving the way for a prosperous future,” affirmed Sonny Onyegbula, a representative of the peacekeeping mission’s office in Yei.

The ceremony in Gimunu to mark the start of the road rehabilitation project was attended by some 600 people, including local authorities, community and religious leaders, children and ordinary citizens keen to enjoy the many benefits that a better road will bring.