A religious leader has condemned the government for forcing people to close down their private businesses in Juba on public holidays.
During every public holiday, armed security personnel in full uniforms – mainly that of police, SSPDF and National Security – compel traders to shut down their shops.
Others force Juba residents to line up by the airport road to welcome President Salva Kiir upon return from foreign trips, notably during the peace negotiations.
Even during this year’s Independence Day, supermarkets such as Lily’s along airport road remain close over the matter.
“People want to hear what you have been doing about education, about healthcare, about war, about clean water for everybody, about economy,” said Moses Deng Bol, ECSS Archbishop of Northern Bahr el Ghazal Internal Province.
“But when people go to the ground, they hear about SPLM, SPLM eehh oohh, SPLM wooo oohh. That is all that people are hearing.
“So if it’s just to go and call SPLM and you have nothing to tell us – there are no plans for development in coming years – then that is why people are discouraged.”
Archbishop Deng appealed to the leaders to deliver services if they would want to see citizens turn up for national events.
“It means that the hope that they had when they went for referendum is no longer there,“ he continued.
“So, it should be an alarm to the government to make sure that they are delivering services to the people so that people will willingly turn up for celebration.”
Moses Deng, who was speaking during Okay Africa Foundation-facilitated public discourse on revitalized peace agreement in Juba on Thursday, also said:
“If people love you, you will not need to force them to close shops but they will come alone.”
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