Photo credit: UNMISS/John Mcilwaine

South Sudan: Elyx learns about hope and independence

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Elyx is nearing the end of its 70 country tour and today the UN Digital Ambassador travelled to South Sudan. South Sudan became a sovereign state on 9 July 2011 after its citizens voted for independence in a January 2011 referendum. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between northern and southern Sudan signed in 2005, which ended decades of civil conflict between the north and south, provided for a referendum to determine the wishes of the people of South Sudan. Following independence, South Sudan started to make progress and transition into statehood.

The country was just over two years old when internal conflict broke out in December 2013 between government and opposition forces. The conflict led to a severe humanitarian crisis, which has displaced over two million people, including 500,000 refugees and an estimated 1.6 million internally displaced persons, setting back the country’s social and economic development.

Elyx joins local children for a game (Photo credit: UNMISS/John Mcilwaine)

A peace agreement was signed in August 2015, offering a new possibility for the people of South Sudan to realize their dreams of a democratic, peaceful and prosperous country. The process of recovery and reconciliation will be long and challenging. To this day, nearly 200,000 people are sheltering in Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites in UN bases across South Sudan.

Elyx visits a school at a PoC site (Photo credit: UNMISS/John Mcilwaine)

Although the conflict is deeply affecting the people of South Sudan, with the signing of the recent peace agreement, the United Nations and its international partners are hopeful that if there is lasting peace, South Sudan can develop and benefit from its rich resources.

Elyx is welcomed by a group of students (Photo credit: UNMISS/John Mcilwaine)

The United Nations has supported South Sudan for nearly fifty years. Currently twenty-two UN agencies, funds and programs make up the UN Country Team in South Sudan, working to address the humanitarian and development needs in the county. The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) currently has 13,881 uniformed and civilian personnel working to implement the mandate given by the Security Council, which includes protection of civilians, monitoring and investigating human rights, creating conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and supporting implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement between the parties to the conflict, as well as the newly signed peace agreement.

More Photos of Elyx in South Sudan (Full Flickr Gallery)

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Learn more about the South Sudan at the United Nations

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