Juba dwellers welcome peace
Nadafa lebedna team poses for a photo after cleaning Nyakuron Market on Saturday (Photo by Woja Emmanuel)
By Viola Matela
Saturday which is usually my off-day found me working last weekend. With intentions of cleaning around home like everyone else was trying to do since Friday. I rose up early and with a broom in hand, I started sweeping the compound and all-round the house up to our neighbour’s fence. When I was done, it was time to head to office.
As I passed through Rock City market, people were engaged in their usual weekend activities. Those that love tea had already taken position at the tea joints. A little more into the market, saloons were already open for the day’s business and so were a few shops selling daily necessities.
Some adults together with children near the football field were busy burning rubbish while others slashed and cleared unwanted grass near their work stations. I mean why not? The Peace they had for so long waited for was here knocking at their doors and they were eager to let it in.
The streets were less congested and soon, I was at Custom crossing to the Freedom Square where the organized forces were doing their cleaning rounds. They seemed to have a unity of mind as they did this. It was as if their next promotion depended on what they were doing. If they didn’t do it heartily perhaps, the future would hold them accountable for failing their children and children’s children.
The drive through Ministries’ road to Airport road that usually has trails of NGO cars in the mornings this time only had a few private cars and some taxis. I was soon at the office but could not help noticing the Juba City Council workers just in front of the Juba Monitor offices painting the pavements black and white. Oh, how beautiful and neat the streets were beginning to look for the D-day.
The Mayor of Juba City did not just speak and not do. He too had rolled up his shirt sleeves on Saturday and was busy scooping sand out of a trench along Airport road and putting it in a wheelbarrow.
My next destination was the SDA roundabout where business was ongoing as usual. Dozens of women selling fruits, clothes and other things by the roadside were operating.
A little walk from the roundabout, I found members of Christ Church Nakasongola-Africa Inland Church (AIC) adjacent to the Freedom Square having their annual founding day celebrations.
Rev. Jambo Molla, the Church overseer called on South Sudanese to encourage one another to live in peace, pray and forgive one another. Pr. Emmanuel Taban also emphasized the need for all to live in peace and unity with everybody on top of continuing to work for peace.
I left for University of Juba where students had gathered under the organisation of the Africa National Congress Party in South Sudan. As they spoke, I gathered few words from them telling of how they did not want to see another bloodshed in this country and wanted the peace to last besides its celebrations.
The weekend really went fast and here we are today only counting hours to the final celebrations of the signed revitalized peace pact. Final touches are going on here and there at the Freedom Square. The Juba International Airport new terminal will also be opened today and what a joy to see this day draw close each day.