South Sudan’s Independence Day comes and passes unnoticed

South Sudan national celebrations usually take place here, at John Garang Mausoleum, in Juba. But yesterday, the country’s Independence Day, the ground was almost empty. Picture by Ochan Hannington | 18 Mar 2015

Yesterday, July 9 marked eight years of South Sudan’s Independence, after splitting from Sudan. Unlike in the past, this independence day came and passed unnoticed to many across the country. “There will be no national celebration to mark the 8th Independence Day,” the government spokesperson, Michael Makuei, told local and independent Eye Radio one day earlier. Makuei attributed canceling of the official celebrations to the economic situation facing the country, Eye Radio reported. But South Sudanese students, through their union (SUSSA,) in Uganda’s town of Arua say the problem is bigger and far beyond the crumbling economy. The students organized an event, which brought together hundreds, to mark their country’s 8th anniversary. The youngsters expressed mixed sentiments about the day. Others feel disappointed in individuals that run the affairs of their country. Robert Adiga reports.