South Sudan marked the second anniversary of its independence on Tuesday July 9th. On Monday July 8th, thousands of people had gathered in a field in the capital, Juba, to thank God for the gift of independence and to pray for reconciliation and guidance of the country and its leaders in the right direction. On the occasion of the second anniversary, a number of civil society groups launched an appeal for the abolition of the death penalty in the Country and to commute all death sentences in other forms of punishment. The appeal was addressed to President Salva Kiir. The signatories express concern for the fate of 11 men sentenced to death by hanging in Wau, after they were found guilty of killing six farmers in December 2012. The signatories also petitioned the governors of the Lake State, Warrap state and Unity state where cattle raiding by local communities is rampant, to solve the problem without resorting to the application of the death penalty.