News / Africa

South Sudan Celebrates First Independence Day

Members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) march during celebrations to mark the first anniversary of South Sudan's independence in Juba, July 9, 2012.
Members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) march during celebrations to mark the first anniversary of South Sudan's independence in Juba, July 9, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Gabe Joselow
People in South Sudan have celebrated in the capital Juba and elsewhere to mark the country's first year as an independent nation.  The last 12 months have not been easy on the new state, as lingering disputes with its northern neighbor have led to violent confrontations along the border and an economic stand-off over oil.  

In an address Monday at the John Garang Mausoleum in Juba, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said the country still has more work to do to become self-sufficient, after declaring independence a year ago.

“Our liberty today is incomplete, we must be more than liberated if we are to be independent economically,” he said.

South Sudan's economy has been dependent on oil, which accounts for 98 percent of the country's revenues.

The country has suffered since deciding to cut off oil production in January to protest against high fees Sudan was charging for use of its pipelines and port, which the south relies on for exporting.

Inflation has skyrocketed as a result of the loss of foreign revenue, and has pushed up the cost of living, including food prices.

Kiir stressed the need for the country to grow more of its own food to become more economically independent.

"It is my belief that by 2015 we will be self-sufficient in food production," he said. "If we achieve that, then everything will be possible in South Sudan."

A recent World Food Program assessment shows 4.9 million people, about half of the population of South Sudan, will be food insecure this year.

The international aid agency Oxfam says the economic conditions are making it more expensive and difficult to provide humanitarian assistance to some 170,000 refugees in the country, and others in need.

Meantime, tensions remain high along the border with Sudan.

In April, South Sudanese forces attacked and briefly occupied the oil town of Heglig, controlled by Sudan, but claimed by both sides. The fighting brought the two countries close to the brink of war.

An African Union panel mediating talks on the disputes between the two sides has made little progress.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Maria Leelavathi Joseph
July 16, 2012 4:16 AM
Hearty Congratulations to the Newest Nation in the occassion of turning one year! Let us all together make South Sudan a great nation peaceful, properous and truly sovereign in nature through hardwork and people's participation, including women in decision making processes.
I am with you all my friends.


by: jomo from: hai juba
July 11, 2012 8:42 AM
i would like to thank our president salva and all the leaders of this great nation for insuring our future for the coming generation

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid