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South Sudan celebrates independence, urges end to war

South Sudan celebrates independence, urges end to war

by Reuters

Song rings out in South Sudan.

They're celebrating the third anniversary of their independence.

But behind the party, a young nation on the verge of famine.

Their president, Salva Kiir, spoke during the festivities -- urging rebel leader Riek Machar to lay down his arms and resume peace talks.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH SUDAN PRESIDENT, SALVA KIIR, SAYING:

"United we stand, divided we fall. Therefore let us put this war to an end before the war puts us to an end."

Talks have stalled since a ceasefire was declared on May 9th, with both sides accusing each other of violating previous peace deals.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since clashes broke out in Juba on December 15.