Thursday, April 08, 2010

Where have all the foreigners gone in Juba?

If you walk the streets of Juba today, you will notice it immediately: there are fewer people in the streets. The mini buses are far apart, the morning rush hour crowds quieter and the boda boda taxis less ubiquitous! I asume it is the same in many towns in Southern Sudan.

Granted, many people might have gone to their respective constituencies to vote on Sudan. But the usual foreigners population in Juba has dwindled remarkably. The Ugandans and Kenyans have closed their businesses and flocked home. The airport has become very congested as flights are overbooked. The restuarants are closed, shops in Konyokonyo market in Juba closed. The bars are without customers. And prices are beginning to go up already!

These people are fearing the violence during elections, as if it is the norm. No one wants to be caught in it, like it happened in Kenya, it seems.

Personally I do no think there will be mmuch violence, if any at all. The campaigns have gone rather peacefully in general, with little violence between different supporters. Why should people fear the actual voting process itself?

I am urging my neighbours not to flee because there will be no need to fear!

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