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South Sudan: Tenth anniversary independence day marathon towards peace

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South Sudan

A marathon in Juba capital Friday to mark the tenth anniversary of the independence of South Sudan in 2011 from its northern Sudanese neighbour. 

The occasion was attended by the country’s political class including Vice Presidents James Wani Igga and Riek Machar -- who had a message of hope.

"In order for us to celebrate all the time, we must keep the peace alive because peace is the only way for us to carry out development activities. 

"Whether they be sports activities, economic activities or political activities, we are only able to do them when there is peace and when there is unity, and today we have promised that we are all one South Sudan."

Before the forming of a national unity government last year, around 400,000 people lost their lives to inter-ethnic conflict since 2013.

The tensions came about when President Salva Kiir of the Dinka ethnic group sacked Machar of the rival Nuer ethnicity.

The two men have since signed several deals to end the warring.

A national unity government was formed last year -- with President Kiir dissolving parliament in May towards a more inclusive 550-member legislature.

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