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Kiir, Riek prefer violence to elections

Kiir, Riek prefer violence to elections


By Tearz Ayuen


Every time South Sudanese enjoy relative calm, leaders get uncomfortable. Whenever Keji begins to prepare and eat her kombo at her tukul in peace, the elements of destruction try by all means necessary to ensure that she flees back to an IDP or refugee camp.

After the main opposition leader, Dr Riek Machar, returned to Juba, the country began to witness some positive developments.

Political violence against civilians saw a 42 per cent reduction in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to a report released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in February 2022. It documented 3,414 cases in 2021 compared to 5,850 cases in 2020.

Thousands of displaced households returned to their respective homes across the country. An estimated 151,750 refugees were reported as having returned to South Sudan in 2021 of which 60,820 have returned in October alone, UNHCR said.

A cumulative number of 387,000 refugee returnees have been reported since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in October 2018.

Though it was later affected by weather, oil prices and conflict-related shocks, the South Sudan economy had picked up strongly before the COVID-19 pandemic, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth reaching 9.5 percent in FY2019/20, the World Bank said in a 2020 report.


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