The Republic of South Sudan marks the first anniversary since a civil war erupted on the evening of 15 December last year exacerbating ethnic tensions and setting President Kiir’s Dinka tribe against Riek Machar’s Nuer. Thousands of people were massacred, entire towns pillaged and burnt, business halted and an estimated 2 million South Sudanese rendered homeless.
The anniversary is a moment of reflection and resolution to go beyond the memorial services and candlelit vigils, and strive for lasting peace. It is only through constructive dialogue, inclusivity, patriotism and long term focus on the prosperity of the entire nation that the young nation can attain meaningful peace. Never again should the South Sudanese pit themselves against each other.