The Republic of South Sudan: The 6th Independence Day

South Sudan, which was annexed to Sudan/Khartoum in 1946, became independent on 9 July 2011 (after 65 years). Joyfully, the country and its people celebrated the declaration of the independence together. They also celebrated together, the first and second anniversaries of the independence-2012 and 2013. In December 15th 2013, the ruling party, historical Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, SPLM, leadership disagreed on democratic reforms and amendments of the party’s manifesto and constitution. The party degenerated into two factions, one led by party Chairman and President of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit and the other led by party Deputy Chairman and Vice President of the Republic, Riek Machar Teny. On 27 July 2013, the Vice President and his supporters were sacked, charged of insubordination, mismanagement and corruption. On 15 December 2013, these disagreements triggered violence and war. Eventually the Dinka and Nuer got lured into political violence from both sides, by way of the national army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLA. The Government of South Sudan could not celebrate three anniversaries, from 2015 to 2017. The Government said it could not hold festivals due to spreading insecurity, famine and economic disaster, amounting to hyperinflation of over 300 percent.

The suspension of this year’s 9 July 2017, celebrations aroused a huge international and internal headlines news, on the world and the domestic media and inside South Sudan and African continent. It was unprecedented contribution and unanimous humanitarian concerns and material support. The media coverage raged from messages from Head of States and Governments, the UN Secretary General, EU, AU and the USA Department of State, the Churches, led by His Holiness Pope Francis, international civil societies, humanitarian organisations and internal civil organisations. Their messages concluded with: “The warring South Sudanese leaders must make peace.” Why unanimous worldwide cry and support for South Sudan to come to peace with itself?

The world is supporting peace to come back to South Sudan because the devastation, disaster, destruction and economic hyperinflation, has brought the country to a point of total collapse. Of course, the factors responsible of this “point of collapse,”  are the ongoing war, the climate change and failed harvests since 2005 and international drop in oil prices. All these factors have culminated in a horrific humanitarian disaster that tops the world most affected countries, such as Syria, Central Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and others.

South Sudan tops these countries because the war, lack of food and related deceases have killed tens of thousands so far. Two millions South Sudanese citizens internally displaced from their homes to UNMISS protection and feedings.Two millions fled the country for safety in the neighbouring countries and beyond. And finally six millions are caught up in unprecedented starvation, coupled with collapsed of national institutions along with essential services. The world and the South Sudanese have delivered an overwhelming public opinion on what can be done to remove this burden of death. They are left with no other option, “enough is enough,  we need immediate ceasefire and peace.”

It is an overwhelming and obliging message that cannot be ignored by nationalists who love their country and their people. The peace call here is now imposing itself and must be embraced by the leaders and people of South Sudan. People are not any longer interested in government ministerial portfolios, transitional or otherwise. But they want a comprehensive solutions and disputes resolutions and settlements over the system of government and national constitution, only through IGAD’s revitalisation of ARCSS, scheduled for 13 August 2017. The expectations and hopes are very high in regards to the August outcome from Addis Ababa. It is likely that people of South Sudan, with this clear humanitarian support from the world, our leaders and their supporters are expected to respond responsibly and positively.

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