UN plans to repair South Sudan roads

The United Nations has unveiled an ambitious plan to repair many of the main roads in war-tornSouth Sudan.

The repairs are part of the agency’s efforts to improve security and enable traders and humanitarian groups to reach remote communities.

Head of the UN mission in South Sudan David Shearer announced plans to repair 2,350 kilometres of road networks across the country.

The work will be carried out by Bangladeshi, Chinese, Indian and South Korean engineers.

Fixing the roads will enable UN peacekeepers to reach trouble hotspots to protect civilians.

“If the conflict ends, and I hope it does, infrastructure such as roads will help anchor peace by building prosperity,” Shearer said.

The ambitious project will also improve access to remote areas for local traders and humanitarian agencies getting food and relief supplies to vulnerable communities.

South Sudan has been dogged by conflict for four years, sparked by accusations by President Salva Kiir that his then-deputy Riek Machar was plotting a coup against his government. Machar denied the allegations but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

The war has killed thousands and displaced millions, prompting the Un to rank the country as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis.

Regional leaders and the international community are pushing for talks between the warring factions to bring peace to the world’s youngest nation, though Machar is still in South Africa where he went to seek medical care following clashes in Juba in July 2016.