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In face of hardship, ordinary citizens liven up July 9th celebrations

Author: Elshiekh Chol Ajieng | Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Parade march commemorating South Sudan's 13th Independence Day in Yambio, July 9, 2024 - Courtesy

Several parts of South Sudan even those with records of inter-communal conflict have reported peaceful Independence Day as ordinary citizens took it upon themselves to celebrate.

According to some government officials who spoke to Eye Radio from different parts of the country, celebrations started last night without records of any incidents as yet.

In  Eastern Equatoria State’s capital Torit, police conducted a parade and marched on the streets as the locals watched the event unfolding.

Meanwhile, despite the economic hardship and the absence of civil servant salaries, youth, students,  women and hunger-stricken Kapoeta East County celebrated last night, expressing their culture through traditional dances.

‘The whole county is celebrating, but it is not an official celebration by the government, but by the ordinary people. Young people, students, and women are spread throughout the area, celebrating all night.

“It was great joy, but only the economic crisis, bankruptcy, and the absence of salaries for citizens, said Abdallah Lokelo, the area commissioner.

Similarly in the Greater Pibor Administration area, there were no official celebrations but ordinary citizens organized traditional dancing events and were peaceful.

“The people of South Sudan in the Pibor area are celebrating. The celebrations are community celebrations without a government organization. There was no security crisis. Security was stable last night and the reports we received did not mention any security problem, ” said Oleo Akeer, the minister of information.

In Aweil town of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, no big rally has taken place but the locals went partying last night through to Tuesday morning.

‘The day is being celebrated in Aweil, there is no big rally but as usual, people go to parties. There were no incidents as the police had been patrolling since last night and it was peaceful.

Meanwhile, in Warrap, the government has confirmed a similar mode of celebrations.

“People were very peaceful last night. We the state government have provided security to patrol all the towns across the six counties. There are no reported incidents within the celebration of the independence of the 13th anniversary of the Republic of South Sudan in Kwojok,” William Wol, the information minister has said.

However, in Ezo County, there was an organized ceremony with reported joint celebrations between the civilians and the organised forces in the area.

“Today, we started the celebrations with the matching of our forces with all the citizens of  Izo County who joined in happiness.

“There was a football match in Freedom Square, and in the evening we shall have also another and will end the night clubbing, we don’t record any security incident,” said Commissioner Abel Sudani.

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