The world’s youngest country canceled its upcoming independence-day celebrations.
South Sudan, plagued by a civil war and a struggling economy, will not have any official commemorations on July 9 to mark the fifth anniversary of breaking off from Sudan. On Tuesday, Michael Makuei, the minister of information, said, “We need to spend the little that we have on other issues.”
The situation in South Sudan, as Al Jazeera describes, is critical:
South Sudan is struggling to stem soaring inflation caused by the war, rampant corruption and the near collapse of the oil industry, which accounts for 98 percentage of government revenues.
The International Monetary Fund has warned that the economy is in ruins with inflation at almost 300 percent and the currency falling by 90 percent this year.
Civil war erupted in South Sudan in December 2013 but rebel chief Riek Machar returned to the capital in April as part of a peace deal that saw him become vice president, forging a unity government with [President Salva] Kiir.
Despite this agreement, fighting has continued throughout the country between different militia forces, leaving tens of thousands dead. This week, more than 50 people were killed in fighting between government forces and rebels in the remote town of Wau.