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Jonglei capital embarks on recovery amidst challenges.

September 19, 2014 (BOR) -- Bor, the capital of South Sudan's Jonglei state is now recovering after months of fighting destroyed the town.

Ongoing reconstruction work in Bor, Septemer 19, 2014 (ST)

According to the mayor of Bor, Nhial Majak Nhial, at least half of the 300,000 residents who previously occupied the town, have returned.

"Recovery of Bor is a success mission," Nhial told reporters on Friday.

Located about 200km from the capital, Juba, Bor was the center of intense fighting between government forces and rebels loyal to South Sudan former vice-president, Riek Machar in December last year. Several people were killed and properties destroyed as the two rival forces battled to control the strategic town north of Juba.

STARTING NEW LIFE

Traders operating in Bor town have managed to clear the markets of debris and at least half of the 1,000 shops are now open for business.

"I had stocked my shop with goods worth 120,000 South Sudanese (about US $40,000) and when I returned on January 20th, I could not believe my eyes," said Ahmed Idris, a Sudanese trader who reportedly lost most of his goods during the fighting in Bor.

"The shop was burnt like other shops here in the market," he said, while pointing to empty spaces in the market.

Makor Leek, a South Sudanese trader, is reestablishing his business.

"When I think about the money I lost to the fighting, it tends to distract me from concentrating on my new beginning," said Leek.

At least 2,000 corpses, the mayor said, were buried in various mass graves in Bor. Last week, he added, 16 skeletons were retrieved from the bank of the Nile River, situated some few meters from Bor town.

"But our focus now is how to build confident among the displaced people to return to Bor. That is very important," he said.

While, the mayor insists between 170,000 and 200,000 people have returned to Bor, many traders tend to dispute these official figures.

"The government is asking the traders to register their losses, in term of cash and kind [stocks] so that it can try to help," said Nhial.

"We are issuing out forms to be filled by traders and clear description of their losses," he added.

LOST HOPE

But registration of traders shows no sign of hope for traders like Leek.

"Many people died and I don't think the relatives will be compensated. Secondly, the government has never paid the living heroes leave alone out businesses," said Leek.

"My hope is for peace talks [between government rebels] to attain permanent settlement of this conflict," he adds.

(ST).

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Sep 20, 2014
Words:453
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