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South Sudan the “Most Miserable country in the world” says UN

East Africa

South Sudan the “Most Miserable country in the world” says UN

Report by Hassan John

The United Nations has listed South Sudan as the world’s most miserable country out of 156 countries in its World Happiness Report released recently to mark the International Day of Happiness on March 20.

The report, the seventh published by the UN since 2012, took into cognizance the “GDP per capita; social support; healthy life expectancy; freedom to make life choices; generosity; and perception of corruption.” The report, among other yardsticks, considered the level of poverty and purchasing power as well as stories of people’s perceptions of their own lives.

At the bottom of the most miserable countries in the world were also countries like the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Tanzania and Rwanda while the happiest countries in the world remained Finland followed by Scandinavian countries Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

South Sudan Refugees – Photo Credit: UN

South Sudan, a predominantly Christian country, was plunged into ethnic conflict after its independence from Sudan, a predominantly Muslim northern region which had marginalized its southern neighbour. The leaders of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar, fell apart, in a power struggle, that dragged the the entire nation into a protracted ethnic conflict which has killed about 400,000.

In one of the several attempts to broker peace between the two leaders, Pope Francis will be hosting the warring faction, represented by the two leaders in the Vaticanin April, Michael Makuei Lueth, the country’s information minister saidon Tuesday in Juba. “His Excellency is also invited with a delegation… to a retreat in the Vatican from the 11th to 12th of April so that he can… have meetings with the concerned bodies and the institutions,” Luethtold reporters.

Riek Machar, who is the chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Gabriel Changson Chang, leader of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), and Pagan Amum, leader of Former Detainees (FDs) are expected to be in the delegation.

Featured Image Credit:CC/The Intercept