IOM joins EU to welcome back restored Marol marketplace in Bor, South Sudan

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, October 7, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- In South Sudan, IOM celebrated the inauguration of the newly rehabilitated Bor marketplace. The opening of the Marol marketplace in Jonglei State's capital, Bor, is the first early recovery project sponsored by the European Union (EU) since the onset of the crisis that has displaced over 1.4 million people.

Shortly after conflict broke out in Juba, December 2013, fighting erupted across Jonglei State. During the unrest thousands were killed with tens of thousands displaced. Bor itself suffered significant loss of life and property destruction, both private as well as public infrastructure including schools, clinics, and government buildings. Public marketplaces were destroyed, including the main Marol Market.

Through the support of the EU's Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace, IOM and other partners engaged over 100 ethnically diverse community workers to rebuild the marketplace. The team laboured to clear rubble, build new market stalls, rehabilitate 25 water pumps and install latrines into the five market places that form the Marol Market. These activities were accompanied by peace caravans created to send strong messages to the local populace urging peace and reconciliation.

As sections of the main marketplace were cleared through the EU initiative, shopkeepers began to set up stands and open them for business. As a result, trade resumed in Bor, which contributes to the revival of the local economy as well as towards encouraging inter-ethnic social exchanges in what was once an epicentre of the conflict.

IOM Chief of Mission David Derthick escorted EU Ambassador to South Sudan, Stefano De Leo for the inaugural ceremony. The re-opening of the Marol Marketplace in Bor was part of a two-day mission to Jonglei and Lakes state. The EU Ambassador, ECHO representatives and the IOM Chief of Mission travelled first to Mingkaman village, where over 90,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) reside. The delegation visited IDP homes and interventions supported by the EU. The group then travelled by boat across the river Nile to Bor where they were able to visit not only the marketplace but also the Protection of Civilian (PoC) site within the UN base.