23 October 2017

EDITOR’S DESK | Celebrating South Sudan’s anniversary, sceptics aside

(Image: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images)

A year ago today, President Salva Kiir and other heads of state were celebrating South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in Juba. The occasion was celebrated by South Sudanese and many others from all corners of the globe. High spirited South Sudanese filled the streets of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, singing and dancing in elation for a dream they’ve all fought for, whether in Sudan or abroad.

During the independence celebrations that day, all of the officials – South Sudanese, Sudanese and others alike – promised a brighter future, a congenial relationship with Sudan, and immediate development for the World’s newest nation. However, one year on, things don’t seem so bright.

In its first year as an independent country, South Sudan has been plagued with corruption, disease, poverty, poor leadership, famine, illiteracy, ethnic clashes and under development. And the problems seem to be increasing. It almost seems like the dream of independence has faded away.

However, most sceptics seem to be taking things out of perspective. Before independence, South Sudan had been weighed down by decades of civil war. The first South Sudanese rebellion against the government in the north started in 1955, ended in 1973; and started again in 1983, only to end in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM and the Sudanese government. This is the main reason behind the lack of state institutions and infrastructure in the south, which eventually lead to the aforementioned problems.

Another point to consider is that South Sudan gained its independence from a third world country already beleaguered by poverty, famine and corruption. Most African countries have gained independence from European countries that made it a point to establish the necessary state institutions and infrastructure for commerce and administration. And yet, to this day, a lot of these countries suffer from the same famine and poverty we associate with South Sudan.

Yes, the responsibility of running the country should be given to South Sudan’s government and its people, but we also have to assess the role that the self-proclaimed saviours like the United Nations Mission In South Sudan (UNMISS) and African Union (AU) have played. And in comparison, Sudan – South Sudan’s 56 year old sister – is doing just as bad, if not worse – taking into account that Sudan was a “country” before the secession of the south.

So in order for one to justly criticize the so called tragic state of affairs in South Sudan a year after independence, one must look back in history and accurately assess each of the other 192 countries in the world one year after their independence, which countries they gained independence from and under what conditions. Of course there’s a lot of room for improvement, but we must not sit back and criticize out of context. As a concerned Sudanese, I am celebrating South Sudan’s one year anniversary with as much optimism as I celebrated their well deserved independence a year ago, and so should you. Happy Birthday South Sudan.

3 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply to Yasir Elkhider Cancel reply

  • lueth
    9 July 2012 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    you are absolutely right these doom-sayers said before that there will be no independent they thought they could use what they always used, frustrate and frustrate the marginlised and yes they succeeded in Southern Blue nile and south Khordufan and Abiey, but South sudanese said we have other idea as saying goes, “fool one shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you” and oh yes independent came. these parasitic kingdoms have realise they are not going to change things in their favour as they hoped.

    However, the propogandists here are the island kingdom with her desert satelite(Arabian and Gulf kingdoms), merged as noble kingdoms. And now are weaned off of fertile lands resources on the Nile by the African savages and are still threatening to rid off the nobles pashas on the Nile, which of course will threaten the economics viability of the satelite Arabian-gulf kingdoms and thus would reach London estates and banking sectors.

    To make matters worse, the savages have already shut down the oil and are becoming more assertive on their demands. So a propoganda have to use (BBC, aljazera and every newswires) they have to misinform the gulible.probally, may be the island kingdom was developed in a year!

    the island kingdom is not being paid attention by the south rebels turned rulers. they looked the former masters as part of Sudan’s cronic problems hence have to be dealt with-we-you basis and the island kingdom felt she is being sidelined on she considers her divine right to own aspirations of the savages.

  • Yasir Elkhider
    9 July 2012 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    nice ya modeer

  • Hiba Rasheed
    6 March 2013 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Well-said, thank you.

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