South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir prays at the John Garang Memorial in Juba during events marking the third anniversary of South Sudan’s independence. Andrea Campeneau/Reuters
Juba, South Sudan — South Sudan marked its third anniversary of independence amid a civil war that has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 1 million. So the birthday mood in the world’s newest nation does not resemble the complete jubilation of recent years.
In the capital of Juba yesterday, independence celebrations were large – but the pride on display was sharply mixed with ambivalence and disappointment. The festivities stood in stark contrast with the hope a year ago of a bright future for an oil- and water-rich land, and the widely shared sense now that the country’s leaders have failed.
The public sentiment was articulated by “Fox,” a man draped head to toe in South Sudanese flags: “Today I’m happy…[but] I’m crying from this war…. I feel fifty-fifty.” Read more…