JUBA – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit has skipped an important religious celebration after a surge in the cases of coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The president was due to attend Centenary celebrations in Lui Town of Western Equatoria State but a surge in the cases of covid19 caused him to delegate the minister of presidential affairs to attend celebrations on December 22, 2021.
Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said health authorities have advised the president to skip the trip because of the increased cases of coronavirus.
Presidential affairs minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin represented him.
South Sudanese government imposed new restrictions including partial lockdown to curb the spread of COVID 19 cases. Over 500 new cases have been recorded, according to the ministry of health.
Celebrations, held at Lui Fraser Cathedral Church, are expected to conclude on Thursday, December 23, 2021.
Bismark Avokaya, Bishop of Lui Frazer Cathedral said in a statement on Wednesday that the celebrations could not take place last year and the years before because of insecurity.
This year the religious function will be conducted in Lui because the stability has returned to the area, he added.
“The celebration is because in 1920 on December 22nd CMS ( Christian Missionary Society) came to Lui. The missionaries were led by Doctor Kenneth Grant Fraser who was accompanied by his wife Ellen and his sister-in-law Alice,” reads the statement.
At the time, the group opened a health dispensary, schools and then a church in Lui.
“It’s for this reason that we are celebrating the hundred years which we should have done by December last year but for some reason, we postponed it for this year.”
Late Kenneth Grant Fraser is remembered for introducing education and spreading the gospel in the Moru land. Born in 1877 in Scotland, he died in Lui, South Sudan on 10 February 1935.