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South Sudan Independence to be Commemorated Amidst Tensions

According to information minister, Michael Makuei, security arrangements have been made ensure that the day is celebrated in peace. The Council of Ministers sat yesterday to review the preparations for the event. Workers were also seen at the same time painting fences and setting up posters of the South Sudanese leader Salva Kiir along the route leading to the Mausoleum.
South Sudanese authorities are preparing for the Independence Anniversary celebration to take place tomorrow, 9 July. As part of the celebrations, Salva Kiir’s posters have been set up by the Mausoleum of John Garang and along roads leading to the gravesite.

John Garang de Mabior was the founder and long-time leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). His burial ground is a key centerpiece in commemoration of South Sudan’s liberation struggle and independence day held on 9 July ever since 2011.

South Sudanese officials have described Salva Kiir as the symbol or ‘image’ of the country. Kiir himself has emphasized his permanent role in the government of the country, saying in a recent speech; “I am the president of South Sudan, and I must always remain in that position as the president.”

According to information minister, Michael Makuei, security arrangements have been made ensure that the day is celebrated in peace. The Council of Ministers sat yesterday to review the preparations for the event. Workers were also seen at the same time painting fences and setting up posters of the South Sudanese leader Salva Kiir along the route leading to the Mausoleum.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya have confirmed they will attend the event, according to Makuei.  The President of Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, has also been invited but has not yet confirmed his attendance and so is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn.

This year’s celebration however finds the country in tatters and rising tensions following the outbreak of war between Salva Kiir’s Government and a breakaway faction codenamed the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO).

The conflict, which erupted in mid-December last year has killed thousands and resulted in the widespread destruction of public infrastructure.

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