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South Sudan: Security heightened in Juba ahead of papal visit

Security forces in Juba   -  
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South Sudan

Security forces in South Sudan were preparing Thursday for the arrival of Pope Francis who visits the nation as part of his African journey.

Francis kicked off his six day tour in Democratic Republic of the Congo on Tuesday where he has already presided over a Mass for 1 million people and heard firsthand of atrocities some have endured following the conflict in the country's east.

He landed in South Sudan on Friday where he will visit the country's capital, Juba.

On Thursday security forces, which included armed soliders and police officers, motivated themselves by running around he courtyard at Juba police station, brandishing their weapons in celebration of the pope's arrival.

The spokesman for South Sudan People's Defence Forces', Major General Lul Ruai, said more than 5,000 security personnel would be deployed around Juba during Francis' visit.

Security was also being heightened around the city's residential areas said Major General Daniel Justin Boulo Achor, spokesman for the South Sudan National Police Service.

"Some criminals, when people are out, they will be replacing them in their houses so we will have patrols in residential areas to make sure that the houses are safe during the celebrations," he said.

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