By Bida Elly David
A high-level committee from the national and the State governments concerned with the preparation for Papal visit to South Sudan yesterday conceded an inspection exercise to the crucial sites to be visited by his Holiness as a mechanism to assess the country’s readiness.
This development came following a meeting convened by the Minister of Presidential Affairs Barnabas Marial Benjamin alongside the preparation team in regards to putting things in places as visitation day nears.
The site inspection exercise was geared towards assessing the progress of work conducted in preparation of Pope’s historic visit to South Sudan.
The exercise was conceded by top government officials from the State and national level such as the government’s spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth, Governor of Central Equatoria State Emmanuel Adil Anthony, the Mayor of Juba City Council, and Michael Lado Allah-Jabu among others.
Last week, the Catholic Metropolitan Bishop Stephen Ameyu Martin manifested readiness of the Catholic Church and other denominations toward the Pope visit to the young nation.
He said that all the specialised committees tasked to prepare for his arrival are ready, thus follow government’s preparation mandate.
Speaking during the exercise, the Minister for Presidential Adviser, Barnaba Marial Benjamin said it was a collective responsibility from government and the church to ensure preparation for the coming of the Holy father Pope Francis to the country.
Furthermore, Barnaba demonstrated government’s readiness to welcome Pope’s visit to the country alongside Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and the moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Lain Green Shields.
“I appreciate you for having turned up for this meeting as a team to ensure that assessment of the sites that the Holy Father shall be visiting is done and made ready for easy access. We as government together with the high delegation team have come to inspect and see how ready the sites are so that when the pope comes, it will be easy for him and his team to move. The government of South Sudan under Salva Kiir Mayardit is ready to welcome the Holy father and his counterparts to the Country as well as bless the nation,’’ he said.
Barnaba appreciated the work that the Engineers and other working team have been doing to ensure readiness for the Holy Father.
“We have visited St Theresa’s Cathedral as one of the sites that the pope would be visiting as part and partial of his mission as well as Dr. John Garang’s Mausoleum being one of the grounds that the pope shall visit to conduct his ecumenical mass for the people,’’ he said.