South Sudan, the youngest nation in the world, is turning 10.
“The decade of independence we’re celebrating is something every South Sudanese is proud of,” says reporter Nichola Mandil in the capital, Juba. “The pride of having a nation of our own.”
But it’s fair to say that, after a decade of independence, not everything has gone quite according to plan.
For a start, a civil war tore through the country and forced millions of people out of their homes.
Then there’s South Sudan’s sluggish economy (still over-reliant on oil exports). This in turn makes it hard for politicians to deal with systemic problems like extreme poverty or food insecurity.
So, do the people of South Sudan feel the occasion calls for a party?
“The general mood [in Juba] is that yes, we are 10 years old as a nation, but there’s been this excuse that we are a young nation,” says Mr Mandil.
“The country is young, but the challenge is to move the country another step forward.”