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South Sudan cancels July 9 independence anniversary

July 7, 2018 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government says this year’s independence day celebrations, set for 9 July, will not take place due to the economic hardship and political instability in the country.

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S. Sudan cabinet affairs minister Martin Elia Lomoro (Photo KT Press)

The decision, according to the cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomuro, was reached at Friday’s council of ministers meeting held in capital, Juba.

This is the third time the government was cancelling the independence day event.

“I will be very frank with you and say that our economy does not support us to celebrate in the big way that we normally would have done in all the states,” he said.

The cabinet affairs minister said it made no sense to hold such celebration when most people across the country face hardships.

The head of the Independence Day committee, Abdun Agau said the celebrations would not take place owing to financial constraints.

South Sudan attained independence from Sudan in 2011 after over decades of civil war, but again plunged into conflict in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar.

The world’s youngest nation largely depends on oil exports to finance 98 percent of its fiscal budget, but conflict has curtailed oil production to less than 160,000 barrels a day from up to 350,000 bpd.

Tens of thousands of people, estimates show, have been killed during the ongoing civil war and over 3 million displaced internally and externally.

(ST)