South Sudan: three-year anniversary of a fragile state

Hope for a lasting peace lives in South Sudan, which gained independence three years ago.

The third anniversary of South Sudan’s independence is being held today with mixed emotions. The peace negotiations between the government and the opposition have not progressed as expected. The unrest has spread during the summer to the usually peaceful state of Western Equatorian. In addition, the officials of the country have tightened the curfew because of the independence anniversary.

”You can see a lot of people carrying the flag of South Sudan in the streets anyway. The independence gained from Sudan three years ago is still fresh in people’s minds “says Kalim Ul Masih, a Regional Officer of Finn Church Aid in Juba, capital of South Sudan.

According to him, armed robberies, assaults and ethnic violence have even increased lately. “The constant uncertainty about the future is palpable. There is no end in sight for the violence, before the government and the opposition come to terms.”

The Finn Church Aid’ employees continue working in South Sudan as normal. During the Independence Day, the employees however do not leave their station for security reasons.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 9th of July 2011. The unrest that broke out in late 2013 between the government and the opposition has culminated this year. There are even signals of ethnic cleanse in some areas. South Sudanese people having being forced to leave their homes have risen to over one million.

Finn Church Aid supports religious leaders’ participation in peace building. In addition, FCA aims to improve citizens’ recovering from the conflict by giving out food and other relief aid to the people who have lost their homes. Returning to normalcy is being supported by improving the living conditions of poor rural areas.

Text: Satu Helin