News / Africa

Crisis, Conflict Overshadow S. Sudan's 3rd Independence Day

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir prays at the John Garang Memorial during events marking the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir prays at the John Garang Memorial during events marking the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.
Gabe Joselow

Three years since it won independence, South Sudan is struggling. An ongoing political struggle, inter-ethnic fighting and a deepening humanitarian crisis have pushed the world's youngest nation into chaos.
 
South Sudan's independence on July, 9 2011 was a celebration of peace.  A hard-won divorce from the Republic of Sudan marked the end of one of Africa's longest-running civil wars, and a victory for a long-oppressed population of the south. The country was welcomed into the arms of the international community with goodwill and the promise of partnership.

Dancers put on a short theatrical performance promoting unity in South Sudan and hope for a peaceful future in the war torn nation during celebrations marking three years of Independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.Dancers put on a short theatrical performance promoting unity in South Sudan and hope for a peaceful future in the war torn nation during celebrations marking three years of Independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.
x
Dancers put on a short theatrical performance promoting unity in South Sudan and hope for a peaceful future in the war torn nation during celebrations marking three years of Independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.
Dancers put on a short theatrical performance promoting unity in South Sudan and hope for a peaceful future in the war torn nation during celebrations marking three years of Independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.

But today, the country is in upheaval.
 
The numbers tell the story: More than 10,000 people have been killed since a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar erupted into violence on December 15.
 
About 1.5 million have been displaced from their homes by the conflict.  And three separate ceasefire deals between the two sides were violated almost immediately after being signed.
 
Julia Duany fled fighting in southern Sudan in the 1980s, settling with her family in the United States.
 
While she visited her home country often during that time, she decided to move back permanently after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed with Khartoum in 2005, and now works for an organization providing leadership training for women. She said the new conflict has brought back old memories of grief, loss and despair.  "Were we joking when we were celebrated three years ago?  And now we ourselves are killing each other, not somebody else," she said.
 
Government forces loyal to President Kiir have been battling rebel forces and military factions aligned with Machar, with the fighting located mostly in the areas of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states.
 
Populations huddled for safety at United Nations bases across the country have come under attack in ethnically-motivated violence, while aid agencies say hospitals have also come under assault with some patients shot in their beds.
 
Optimism about future


Peace talks being held in neighboring Ethiopia have stalled, but Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said he is still hopeful that an agreed-to transitional government will be formed in the coming months, putting peace within reach.
 
"Definitely, with the 3rd anniversary, we are optimistic we will reach peace in this coming period and before the end of this year," Lueth said.
 
A man-made humanitarian crisis continues to loom large in the country.  Mass displacement has forced many South Sudanese to miss the planting season.
 
The U.S.-funded Famine Early Warning System has raised alarms about food insecurity in the country, reporting that nearly one-third of the population is already in crisis, a situation that is likely to worsen.
 
In a phone call with reporters, Noah Gottschalk, senior policy advisor for the aid organization Oxfam America, said the conflict is limiting access to those who need it the most.

"South Sudan already had poor infrastructure and now as the rains have started, a lot of roads are inaccessible, airplanes are needed and helicopters to reach many different areas.  But access is also cut off because of ongoing fighting, because of restrictions from the parties to the conflict on the movement of humanitarian vehicles," he said.
 
National pride

But all hope is not lost. While many South Sudanese feel their leaders have failed them, a sense of patriotism and national pride remains strong.
 
Duany said she still believes in the dreams of an independent South Sudan that many, including her husband, had fought so hard for.
 
"What has happened has put us back to square one, but I think we can pick up ourselves if we have the right vision, if we have the right leadership, we can carry people along so that we can gain back the momentum that we lost December 15," she added.
 
From displacement, to famine, to never-ending conflict, South Sudan faces many obstacles in the months and years to come to realize the promises of freedom.

  • A traditional dancer takes part in celebrations marking the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence, in Juba, July 9, 2014.
  • Actors perform a play during celebrations marking the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.
  • South Sudan's President Salva Kiir prays at the John Garang Memorial during events marking the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence, in Juba July 9, 2014.
  • A Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldier sings next to traditional dancers during celebrations marking the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.
  • South Sudanese dance and wave flags during celebrations marking three years of Independence at a stadium in Juba, July 9, 2014.
  • Dancers put on a short theatrical performance promoting unity in South Sudan and hope for a peaceful future in the war torn nation during celebrations marking three years of Independence in Juba, July 9, 2014.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sassa from: juba
July 12, 2014 9:16 AM
we s.sudanese only one person is disorgise us and his names is rik machar .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid