Home | News    Wednesday 9 July 2014

S. Sudan better than it was three years ago, says official

July 8, 2014 (JUBA) – A member of South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) said the new nation was much better position than it was during the pre-independence era.

JPEG - 13.5 kb
Anne Itto, the deputy chairperson of the SPLM party (ST/File)

Ann Itto, the SPLM’s acting secretary-general, said citizens had been able to access more social services since South Sudan seceded from neighbouring Sudan.

“We fought. We negotiated peace … We protected our people during that time. Our people voted and we became independent. We mobilised the inter community to recognise us,” Itto told reporters at the party’s headquarters in Juba on Tuesday.

“We started well for the last three years. We have built roads; we have built schools; we have built hospitals; we have developed laws. We started building the foundation of a nation,” she added.

SPLM, a former rebel movement turned governing party, fought against Sudan from 1983 to 2005. In 2005, parties to the conflict signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), paving the way for the 2011referendum on self-determination, which saw majority of South Sudanese choose secession from the north, with the young nation declaring its independence on 9July.

However, the SPLM-led government has been criticised for massive corruption since taking charge of South Sudan. In 2013, president Salva Kiir wrote to former and current government officials demanding the return of $4 billion in stolen funds.

Analysts say the president and his government have done very little to curb widespread corruption.

“Definitely, given the historical records that are out there, people have the rights to be pessimistic,” political analyst Augustino Mayai said while speaking on the local Bakhita FM radio station on Tuesday.

One Juba resident told Sudan Tribune, that the president had failed to deliver on several promises since 2005.

However, Itto insists that the ruling party was working in the best interests of South Sudanese people despite facing many challenges since conflict erupted in mid-December last year following a split in the SPLM.

“It takes South Sudanese themselves to work for peace and wants peace in order for us to move pass independence to laying the foundation of the nation we fought for,” she said.

South Sudan marks its third anniversary as an independent state on Wednesday, but its three years of self-rule has been mired in violence, which has killed thousands and displaced over a million people during the latest crisis.

MOST "FRAGILE" STATE

The world’s youngest nation, a new report stated, is currently the world’s “most fragile” state, ending Somalia’s six-years atop the Fragile State Index. The report from the US-based Fund for Peace blames chronic instability, fractured leadership and growing ethnic conflict its poor ranking.

However, after attaining its independence, South Sudan featured in the then Failed States Index (FSI) in 2012 and was ranked the fourth country overall.

(ST)