South Sudan marks 9th independence anniversary

South Sudan marks its 9th independence anniversary amidst calls for lasting peace as the country races against time to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The world’s youngest nation is recovering from a brutal civil war with the formation of a transitional government in January 2020, but ongoing conflict threatens to destabilize hard-won efforts.

South Sudan has known more war than peace. However, it is continuing to recover and efforts to rebuild the nation are underway with the signing of a peace agreement in 2018 and the formation of a transitional government in January 2020.

UN Refugee Agency,UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations are helping the government to prevent, treat and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Nearly 1.7 million people are internally displaced and more than 300,000 are refugees inside the country. UNHCR is calling on the country’s leaders to reinvigorate efforts to establish lasting peace and bring an end to Africa’s largest displacement crisis.

“It’s crucial that South Sudan continues on the road to lasting peace,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

After years of conflict, the South Sudanese people deserve the chance to return to their homes, to live in safety in their communities and to focus on building a bright and prosperous future

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011, following a referendum where more than 80 percent of voters cast the yes ballot.