South Sudan marks 12 years of independence but citizens continue to suffer
South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, marked its 12 years of independence on Sunday, but many citizens are still struggling to make ends meet as promised by leaders during the liberation struggle.
JUBA, JULY 9, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, marked its 12 years of independence on Sunday, but many citizens are still struggling to make ends meet as promised by leaders during the liberation struggle.
The country has been plagued by conflict and instability since December 2013, and the war has left millions of people displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance.
The economy is also in shambles, with inflation at record highs and food prices soaring.
In a speech on even of independence anniversary, President Salva Kiir acknowledged challenges facing his government in implementing a 2018 peace deal meant to bring permanent peace but said he and other signatories are making efforts that would allow for South Sudan to conduct its first-ever elections.
“Since 2018, we have encountered and continue to encounter challenges in the implementation of the R-ARCSS,” he said.
“Fortunately for us, none of these challenges affected our intention to implement the Agreement. Each time we faced hurdles, we managed to resolve them peacefully through dialogue.”
The president called for permanent “peace and stability” in order to allow return of the millions of citizens displaced by war and for peaceful elections to take place.
“We need stability in order to allow our people to voluntarily return home from refugee and IDP camps, to allow our people reconcile and for the government to be able to hold credible elections,” he said.
“Achieving peace and stability is the only way that will allow us to exit from the cycle of transitional governments and violence once and for all.
“To this effect, I am calling upon you, my fellow citizens to work with the peace partners and my colleagues in government collectively for peace and stability in our country,” he added.
The anniversary celebrations were muted in many parts of the country, as people were more focused on their daily struggles than on celebrating independence.
In the town of Bentiu, in the north of the country, people were still reeling from the recent floods that had destroyed their homes and crops.
“We have nothing left,” said Nyekuoth, a 40-year-old mother of 5 who has been living at the UN mission protection of civilian site in Bentiu’s Rubkona. “We are just trying to survive.”
In the capital, Juba, there were no official government celebrations, but some citizens conducted individuals’ celebrations.
The country is currently in a state of limbo, as the government has failed to implement peace agreements since 2015.
This has led to widespread corruption and mismanagement, and many people are frustrated with the lack of progress.
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