A South Sudanese woman wears the national flag and carries a mock gun as she attends an independence day ceremony in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Thursday, July 9, 2015.(AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)
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South Sudan marked four years of independence from Sudan Thursday, but the celebrations were tempered by concerns about ongoing violence and the threat of famine.South Sudan became the world's newest nation in 2011 following a vote to secede from northern neighbor Sudan. But the young country fell into war after just 18 months as a result of a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, who is now the leader of rebel forces controlling some parts of South Sudan.South Sudan's conflict has forced over 2 million people from their homes, including 730,000 to neighboring countries.President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice urged warring leaders to end their conflict, blaming Kiir and Machar for "appalling crimes" and violence.
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