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10 years of Independence of South Sudan

South Sudan known as the Republic of South Sudan is a landlocked country in east/central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Ethiopia, to the north by Sudan, to the west by the Central African Republic, to the southwest by Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south by Uganda and to the southeast by Kenya. South Sudan is one of the most diverse countries in Africa and homes to over 60 different major ethnic groups and the majority of its people follow traditional religions.

On July 9 2011, South Sudan proclaimed itself independent from Sudan following six years of autonomy and a decades-long struggle for statehood. Salva Kiir Mayardit became president of South Sudan.  But in 2012, Disagreements with Sudan over the oil-rich region of Abyei erupted into fighting and this came to be known as the Heglig Crisis. A peace deal was reached in June 2012 that helped resume South Sudan’s oil exports and created a 10km demilitarized zone along the border.

This was also short lives as in July, 2013, Kiir fires Machar and all government ministers, their deputies and several police brigadiers.  Civil war broke out after the president, Salva Kiir, sacked the cabinet and accuses Vice-President Riek Machar of planning a failed coup. Over 2.2 million people were displaced by the fighting and severe famine lead to threatening of thousands lives.

In August 2015, Machar and Kiir signed a peace accord that provided Machar’s reappointment as Vice President. In April 26, 2016 he returned to Juba to be swooned in but the friction comes again between the two as fights between the supports of the two breaks again. Machar returned back to exile fearing for his life. Finally in 2018, renewed bid ended the civil war which led to a power-sharing agreement between the two. The war has led to killing of more than 380,000 people and displaced roughly four million.

In May 2021, the drafting of the constitution has finally started yet the issues like unified army still remains unresolved. Yet the conflict continues bringing into the risk of leading to long conflict in the country and affecting millions all over again. United Nations although have tried to bring solutions to the issues yet it is still incomplete. Although it’s been 10 years yet it is still a young independent country with a long journey ahead.