Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Still many challenges as South Sudan marks two years of independence

Nicodemus Minde @decolanga
South Sudan today marks two years of independence. The euphoria that was witnessed on the 9th July, 2011 has died and the people of South Sudan today grapple with the harsh reality that comes with peace and state-building. The optimism that characterized South Sudanese has now been replaced with angst and desperation. The country faces numerous challenges such as poor infrastructure, illiteracy, extreme poverty, lack of basic health and educational facilities amongst many. The legacy of boundary conflict with the North continues to be a big challenge. Internal inter-ethnic conflicts brought about by a culture of cattle rustling sees the country at a very delicate situation. The situation has been worsened by poor leadership, ethnicity and corruption. The one party rule strangles democracy and dissidents are sacked and expelled from government arbitrarily. With the shutting of oil production as a result of the continued antagonism with Khartoum is crippling the economy that 98.1% depends on oil. Power struggles within SPLM has seen the Deputy President Riak Machar being stripped some of his powers by President Salva Kiir. The nascent country faces a lot of challenges despite it only being two years old. The lack of political will and corruption threatens to further slow down progress. The leadership of South Sudan needs to do a cross examination of its will and map a clear policy based approach that will steer the country to greater height. I wrote last year that South Sudan needs quality and selfless leadership in order to develop. This is inevitable as long as the country wants to avoid the mistakes made by other African states. 

I have been doing a research on Peace and State-building in South Sudan for the past six month.      

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