July 9, 2012 (BOR) — Thousands of people gathered in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State to mark the first anniversary of South Sudan’s independence from Sudan a year ago. The event was celebrated with speeches and poems dominated by calls for unity, peace and development.
- Jonglei State Governor, Kuol Manyang Juuk, is given an award by a women’s association in Bor on South Sudan Independence Day in Bor, 9 July 2012 (ST)
Jonglei State Governor, Kuol Manyang Juuk, told the crowds gathered to attend the anniversary that this day reminds the people of South Sudan of the challenges ahead.
South Sudan, after decades of civil war and underdevelopment has had a turbulent first year of existence. A short border conflict with Sudan raised the possible of a return to war with Khartoum in April and since January the country has been deprived of oil revenues, which made up 98% of its budget, due to a dispute with Khartoum over fees.
The world’s youngest country is also blighted by corruption with around $4 billion estimated to have been stolen since self-governance began in 2005 as part of a landmark peace deal between former southern rebels and Khartoum
"This is the day we tell ourselves, ’What do we do after this’?" said Governor Juuk.
Many schools, tribal groups, artists and civil society organisations performed songs and called for action to change the face of South Sudan.
- A Jonglei band celebrate South Sudan’s first independence anniversary in Bor, 9 July 2012 (ST)
Jonglei state is celebrating the first year of South Sudan anniversary with leaders praising the improvement in security in recent months.
Over Christmas and into the New Year over 100,000 people were displaced as the Luo Nuer and Dinka armed men attacked Pibor County, home of the Murle tribe, whom they blame for cattle raids and abductions. The attack on Pibor was the latest in a series of retaliatory attacks between Jonglei pastoralist groups that are well-armed as a consequence of the civil war.
Following the attacks, President Salva Kiir ordered a state-wide disarmament campaign deploying 15,000 soldiers and police into the area.
- Jonglei State cattle keepers display their bulls as part of South Sudan’s first Independence Day in Bor, 9 July 2012 (ST)
The head the forces carrying out the disarmament in Jonglei State, Lt. Gen. Kuol Diem says that only six cases of cattle raids or child abduction were reported in June, 2012. The General says that security is being continuously improved as the army moves from one village to another looking for guns.
Governor Juuk outlined the achievements made in the first year of South Sudan’s Independence as improvements of road connections, school enrollment and security in Jonglei State.