South Sudan’s first permanent bridge over the River Nile was officially opened on Thursday.
The construction of the 560-metre long Freedom Bridge on the outskirts of the capital, Juba, was funded by the government of Japan.
Construction began in 2013 but had to be suspended multiple times because of the civil war and the coronavirus pandemic.
The previous bridge was dismantled and moved because it was sometimes dangerous to cross especially for pedestrians.
President Salva Kiir said that the Freedom Bridge was a symbol of long and lasting friendship between the people of Japan and South Sudan.
The bridge is expected to relieve traffic congestion in Juba and facilitate trade.
Raila Odinga, Kenya’s presidential candidate and AU infrastructure envoy, as well as Tanaka Akihiko, the chairman of Japan’s International Cooperation Agency, were in attendance at the opening.
The bridge will be the major link in South Sudan with a total length of 560m, a width of 12.9m, access roads on both sides making a total of 3700m, and a sidewalk.