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Turkish Ambassador Erdem Mutaf (Right) plants a tree in the compound of the Turkish Embassy in Juba on Wednesday.

 South Sudanese plant trees to honor victims of earthquake in Turkiye

South Sudanese on Wednesday joined officials in the Turkish Embassy in South Sudan to plant trees in honor of victims of the recent disastrous 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkiye.

Mary Ayen Mijok, the 1st deputy Speaker of the Council of States of South Sudan expressed her deepest condolences to the people and government of Turkiye following Monday’s earthquake.

 “In memories and remembering of those souls, I would like to pay my condolences I know my Speaker will come also to issue official statement on this incident,” Ayen said during the ceremony held in the Turkish Embassy in Juba.

She said Turkiye was the first country to recognize the independence of South Sudan in 2011 which has helped strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

 “These are the times we share our concern and solidarity, we are standing with you in this difficult time,” Ayen said.

She added that the Turkish people and their humanitarian agencies have over the years been standing with People of South Sudan, especially the Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TIKA) which has been supporting the vulnerable people.

Ruth Nyaleel Kai, the Executive Director of African Indigenous Women Empowerment, said that they brought 10 different types of trees to represent the solidarity of the people in 10 states of South Sudan.

She said that they share their joy and sorrow together with the Turkish people at this critical time.

“We the African Indigenous women Empowerment plant this tree of empowerment to restore the dignity and humility of our beloved Turkiye,” Nyaleel said.

The memorial ceremony was attended by South Sudanese government officials, civil society, and Turkish community in Juba and Turkish peacekeepers. 

Turkish Ambassador to South Sudan, Erdem Mutaf said that they are going through hard times in Turkiye following the disastrous earthquake.

“The earthquake has affected many people and it’s a great shock to  the Turkiye nation,” Mutaf said.

He said that they have opened condolences book and many people are signing it.

Mutaf appreciated all those who turned up to pay their condolences and stand in solidarity with the Turkiye people.

“We are honored to see international solidarity from many nations, the dead are increasing,” he said.

 The trees planted in the Turkish Embassy were provided by African Indigenous Women Empowerment.

More than 11,000 people have been killed and thousands injured by a huge earthquake which struck south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, in the early hours of Monday morning.

The earthquake, which hit near the town of Gaziantep, was closely followed by numerous aftershocks – including one quake which was almost as large as the first.

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