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Resettlement promise as South Sudan celebrates 7th independence anniversary

The South Sudan government is committed to resettling all the refugees and the internally displaced persons (IDPs), official said.

First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai said in a press statement that President Salva Kiir was committed to the search for lasting peace that would guarantee the security of all the South Sudanese.

“We are working very hard to improve the security situation in the country so that our citizens who have taken refuge in other countries could come back home,” the independence anniversary statement reads.

“I congratulate you all. I am also pleased to report that the armed groups across the country are largely observing the ceasefire agreement which all parties to the conflict recommitted themselves to recently in Khartoum,” it adds.

The young nation

South Sudan marked the seventh year of independence on Monday amid unrelenting instability that has seen thousands flee the young nation and many others rendered IDPs.

“Fellow citizens having spoken about our effort to find a lasting solution to the conflict in our country, allow me also to report to you that the security situation is greatly improving in many places across the country,” the statement says further.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013, just two years after a secession from Sudan.

The war was occasioned by a fallout between President Kiir and the armed opposition leader Riek Machar, who was then first vice-president.

Economic downturn

The war has been characterised by gross human rights violations with more than 100,000 lives lost between 2013 and 2015 alone, according to the International Crisis Group.

The UN says about 2 million out 12 million South Sudanese have become refugees in the neighbouring countries, while another 1.9 million remain internally displaced.

The oil-rich country has been plagued by an economic downturn, hunger, famine and a decline in foreign investments, thanks to violence.

Its leaders, both in government and the opposition, were being accused of perpetrating the war to continue monopolising the country’s resources.

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