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Jubilant Juba residents line up streets to see Pope

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: February 3, 2023

People lined up on the streets in Juba waiting for the arrival of Pope Francis. (Photo: Taban Joseph).

Thousands of people in the capital Juba have lined up the road sides waiting to receive and see Pope Francis and his accompanying delegation.

It is a bright sunny day in Juba where streets are devoid of cars except for the security vehicles, which are either parked or patrolling the streets occasionally.

A drum is sounding in the background as Eye Radio team broadcast the unfolding event live on our Facebook Page.

Outside the airport terminal, the motorcades of several top government officials arrive and officials head to the entrance terminal amid security checks.

“We have just seen the arrival of the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, the arrival of CDF Santino Deng Wol and a number of diplomats and politicians here at the airport.” Emmanuel Joseph Akile reports.

Father James Oyet, the Secretary General of South Sudan Council of Churches told Eye Radio that “we are grateful for this day that the apostolic journey.. is coming to reality today.”

“It has been a long time and they have been praying for us. Those who are listening to my voice, this is the time for change.”

The plane carrying Pope Francis and more than 70 journalists has already departed from the Ndjili International Airport in Kinshasa, DR Congo at 10:49 AM Central African Time, according to the Vatican News.

Speaking to Eye Radio live at the Airport, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the anticipated visit is a blessing to the country.

“We are here today to receive our guests. This is a very important day in the lives of South Sudanese because these visits do not just happen everyday,” Makuei said.

“This is a blessing to us South Sudanese and a sign that God is telling us to live in peace and harmony. This is the first time that the three church leaders have come together to visit South Sudan and their message is a message of God because God speaks through the people.”

“The message is very clear. We must forgive ourselves and live in peace and harmony. If we cannot forgive ourselves, then message will not make any meaning.”

Students from the Catholic University of South Sudan, clothed in white T-shirts with Pope Francis picture, marched to the airport to receive the leader of the Catholic Church who is en-route to South Sudan.


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