On July 9, South Sudan marked 10 years as an independent state. It hasn’t been the easiest of decades: since cleaving off from Sudan in 2011, the world’s youngest country has had to reckon with a five-year civil war (2013-2018), state incapacity, and a fraught and fragile political transition amid ongoing violence and rampant corruption.

Along the way, however, it has made piecemeal progress. Since the start of 2021, for example, the political transition has picked up momentum. There’s also renewed interest in South Sudan’s oil sector, with petroleum minister Puot Kang Chol on June 23 announcing the country’s first oil block licensing round...

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