AS Roma honours South Sudan 9th Independence Anniversary
One of the most Italian decorated football clubs Associazione Sportiva Roma, commonly referred to as Roma has last joined South Sudan in the commemoration of its 9th Independence Anniversary after a breakaway from Sudan in 2011.
The club took to their official English Twitter account to convey their message to Africa’s youngest nation, which dashed the Khartoum regime in an overwhelming referendum poll.
“We’re not sure if we have any AS Roma fans in South Sudan – but if we do, happy independence day to the world’s youngest country,” the club tweeted Thursday with South Sudan flag emoji inserted on two sides of the official banner carrying the message.
The wish, which came as a surprise to many, sparked excitement from the South Sudanese Twitter community.
Nuoi Yel, an AS Roma supporter based in South Sudan expressed his joy over the message coming from a European club to his country, certainly unexpectedly.
“I ain’t sure either, coz there are very few people who follow the Italian Serie A in South Sudan, but I’m certainly one of the few people in this country who love AS Roma. I literally can’t get over what we did to Barcelona in the Champions League about three years,” he tweeted.
South Sudan celebrated its 9th Independence Anniversary last week without any open gathering because of the novel coronavirus. It is the fifth time the country went without gathering on such a day. Unlike this year, the postponement of independence celebration in the previous years was marred by reeling economic hardships.
The country was also plunged into political turmoil with many antagonistic groups sprawling from different political spheres, mostly tribally-aligned.
In January this year, the Rome Declaration on the Peace Process in South Sudan was declared under the auspices of the Community of Sant’Egidio in the Italian capital Rome and witnessed the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the government of South Sudan, the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), the SPLM/A-IO, and NDM.
The signing of the agreement meant all aggrieved parties would recommit to the cessation of Secession of Hostilities Agreement of December 2017 to avoid confrontation between signatories and non-signatory parties to the South Sudan peace agreement.
This came after Pope Francis, in a plea for the South Sudan peace process, stunned President Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar in April 2019 by kissing their shoes.
“Remember that with war, all is lost!” Pope Francis told the protagonists while kneeling before Kiir as Machar and Rebecca Nyandeng looked on.
It is unclear whether these politically-charged circumstances influenced the three-time Serie A champions to send their wishes to the country of South Sudan on its 9th Independence A