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Building of South Sudan palace begins amid food crisis

Nichola Mandil BBC News, Juba

The construction of a new presidential palace has begun in South Sudan’s capital, Juba – with President Salva Kiir attending a ceremony to mark the start earlier this week.

The project is funded by the government and will take about two years to be completed, according to James Deng Wal, the executive director in the Office of the President.

It is unclear how much it will cost, but the country is facing a worsening humanitarian crisis that the UN says has left half of the population food insecure this year.

The new building will house the president’s office and will be a venue for other government activities.

Mr Deng said its construction would provide work for South Sudanese citizens including engineers, architects, artisans and administrative staff.

He said once completed, the building would rival other modern State Houses in East Africa.

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