South Sudan celebrates first year as an independent nation

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Khartoum:People in South Sudan gathered in the capital Juba and elsewhere to mark the country's first anniversary as they celebrated the zeal of an independent nation.
The impoverished country has spent the past year wracked by border fighting with neighbouring Sudan.   
Recent disputes with its northern neighbour have led to violent confrontations along the border and an economic stand-off over oil. 
While addressing people at the John Garang Mausoleum in Juba, on Monday South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said the country still has more work to do to become self-sufficient. He made  this statement after declaring independence a year ago.
South Sudan's economy has been dependent on oil, which accounts for 98 percent of the country's revenues.

The country has suffered since deciding to cut off oil production in January to protest against high fees Sudan was charging for use of its pipelines and port, which the south relies on for exporting.

Meantime, tensions remain high along the border with Sudan.

In April, South Sudanese forces attacked and briefly occupied the oil town of Heglig, controlled by Sudan, but claimed by both sides. The fighting brought the two countries close to the brink of war.

An African Union panel mediating talks on the disputes between the two sides has made little progress.

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