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A very unhappy (and tragic) anniversary

It's not an anniversary deserving of much, if any, celebration.    It's South Sudan's 4th anniversary of its "existence" as the newest State in the world.     All the signs are more of a failed State.    The New York Times explains.....
  A market in Juba, South Sudan. Prices are rising as the country's economy struggles.

'The laborers, hundreds of them, were hard at work, busily fixing roads, painting buildings and making the parade grounds sparkle.

At first glance, it might appear that the economy of this nation, one of the world’s poorest, is humming back to life.

It is not.

The work was being done in preparation for Thursday, when the governing party led by President Salva Kiir will celebrate the fourth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence.

The day after the festivities, residents say, the work will stop.

It is a Potemkin celebration, they say, marking an occasion that was greeted with such great hope in 2011 but that now rings hollow for many as the country descends further into division and misery.

For more than 18 months, South Sudan has been torn asunder by a civil war, with towns deserted and in ruins, villages burned to the ground, hundreds of thousands displaced and thousands dead.

Western officials say that the government nearly ran out of money in May and that it is being kept afloat only by printing currency at a seemingly unsustainable rate and by a recent loan from a Middle Eastern nation, perhaps Qatar.

South Sudanese officials would neither confirm nor deny the loan, reported to be $250 million to $500 million, but the economic crisis is evident everywhere."

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