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South Sudan still struggling ten years into independence | DW News

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South Sudan is marking 10 years of its independence from Sudan. On July 9th 2011, South Sudan was established as the 193rd country in the world. But the birth of a new nation came with great challenges. And Friday's anniversary was a somber affair - people were told to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A decade ago, the people of South Sudan only knew one thing: Celebration. This was their independence day. After more than half a century of civil war with the powerful north, the population of South Sudan voted to secede - by an overwhelming majority - 99% were in favor.
But just 2 years later, civil war broke out again, with ethnic divides fueling the conflict. President Salva Kiir from the majority Dinkas sacked vice-President Riek Machar, from the Nuer. Peace agreements between the two sides came and went. Almost 400,000 people died. Finally, in 2018, Kiir and Machar agreed to form another unity government. In 2020, they were sworn in as president and vice-president.
Yet widespread corruption and violence have hampered efforts to build a functioning country. South Sudan is poor - despite rich natural resources. One third of the population is displaced, 60% are dependent on food aid. Rampant inflation and natural catastrophes make the situation worse. But ten years on, people are still yearning.
After ten years of independence, South Sudan is still very much dependent on outside help - there is little to celebrate in Juba.

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