Posted by: jacobgillard | September 19, 2011

Long-Sought and Hard-Won

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South Sudan celebrated her long-sought and hard-won independence on July 9th, 2011. I was able to visit Juba and Malakal from July 12th thru 20th—just days after the official celebration—and the enthusiasm of the citizens of the world’s newest country was both glorious and infectious. As you can see in the photos of billboards around Juba, a lot of congratulations were in order.  At the same time, many people were quick to admit that the hard work was just beginning—after all, it’s not easy to build a country from scratch!

As if that weren’t a big enough challenge, the situation is further complicated by a host of political and social factors e.g. war in border states, an undefined border between the two Sudans, inter-tribal cattle rustling, etc.  This BBC News article of September 4th reports that tens of thousands are fleeing Sudan’s Blue Nile State into Ethiopia.  This BBC News article of September 2nd gives more background information. Less well known is a war on civilians in the Nuba Mountains that some observers are concerned could become the next Darfur. Stay tuned and read tomorrow’s post for more details but in the meantime you can check out this photo essay by BBC News In Pictures.

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