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S. Sudan cancels independence anniversary over Coronavirus

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July 7, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s will not hold celebrations to mark the country’s 10th independence anniversary due on Friday over coronavirus, the Council of Ministers resolved.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, displays the country’s transitional constitution after signing it into law during Independence Day celebrations in the capital Juba on 9 July 2011 (REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya)

Cabinet, during Wednesday’s extraordinary meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir urged the public to celebrate the day in their homes as part of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

South Sudan gained independence from neighbouring Sudan on July 9, 2011.

“There will be an official nation address from the president. So, everyone will see it on their own TV or you can listen to your radio so that we avoid any health issues,” the deputy minister for information, Baba Medan told reporters in Juba on Wednesday.

He said only foreign diplomats and senior government officials would converge in the capital, Juba to celebrate the occasion.

Other sources, however, said the country could not hold the Independence Day anniversary due to the current economic crisis.

The Council of Ministers also postponed the swearing-in of the new transitional legislature members which was scheduled for July 9.

Meanwhile, the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) said there is little for South Sudanese to celebrate after 10 years of independence.

SSCC, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said the next decade should usher in peace, justice, freedom as well as prosperity for all in the East African nation.

“As we mark ten (10) years of our independence today, with pains in our hearts, there is little to celebrate. It is truly a difficult time and experience for us, the people of South Sudan. Our hearts continue to groan with pain, anguish, turmoil, despair, and misery as lives are lost every day in every corner of our country,” it partly read.

The church body, however, said it will continue to stand strong with the people of South Sudan in advocating for sustainable peace, justice, healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation in the land.

it further appealed to the non-signatories to the country’s revitalised peace agreement to dialogue, reach a peaceful resolution and usher in sustainable peace.

(ST)

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