A major project to repair 205 kilometers of road from Malakal to Melut, in the north of South Sudan, is underway by Indian engineers serving with the United Nations Mission in the conflict-affected country.
The main road has been virtually impassable since the onset of the rainy season in May, which effectively cut off the main supply route between the two towns.
At an event marking the commencement of work, the local Governor, James Tor Munybuny, said the project to repair and maintain the road would improve accessibility and would be a relief for all road users including local motorists and traders as well as humanitarian agencies trying to access vulnerable people.
He said the project was a sign of the strong relationship between UNMISS and local authorities and demonstrated their joint commitment to building durable peace in the country.
The Upper Nile Head of Field Office, Hazel Dewet, said that the Malakal-Melut road was critical to the UN Mission’s operations in the area and would improve trade and business between these two important towns.
“This is not just an important activity that we are undertaking to ensure that we are able to provide the necessary logistical support to far flung areas where UNMISS is based, be it Melut, or Renk or Bunj, but it is also the beginning of providing some important repair work on a road that brings together families and communities,” she said.
The event was also attended by UNMISS Sector North Commander, Brigadier General Xie Zhijun, the State Minister of Physical Infrastructure, Abam James Bol, and other high-level government officials from the Central Upper Nile.