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The Birth Of A New Nation With A Very Hard Road Ahead Of It
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The Birth Of A New Nation With A Very Hard Road Ahead Of it

The new country, South Sudan celebrated its first day as a sovereign nation with a parade and jubilation as well as tears for those who died in the civil war leading up to its birth. Some two million people died as the Arab Muslims in the North and the Black Christians and animists in the South clashed until a peace deal was negotiated and signed in 2005. Part of that peace deal included a referendum which was voted on in January, giving the South Sudanese their independence. The vote was overwhelmingly for the move that split the largest African nation in two.

The new nation flew its red, green and white flag for the first time over the capital city of Juba during the celebration which was attended by the United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the South African President Jacob Zuma. US President Barack Obama sent his well wishes to the new country as well.

Salva Kiir Mayardit, the former rebel leader is the first president of South Sudan which is unfortunately, one of the world’s poorest in economic and other terms. There are very few paved roads in the nation, which is only about the size of the state of Texas. Many of the villages of South Sudan are without running water, forcing people to drink stagnant, often disease ridden water to survive. There are very few areas that have electricity as well.

Other problems are facing the nation, including a very high rate of maternal and infant mortality as well as one of the world’s highest rates of female illiteracy. According to humanitarian groups, only 15% of the nation can read or write. All of these things will make the nation’s birth bittersweet as border clashes continue to plague the area. The South Sudanese see their former countrymen and what they have- clean water, decent schools and children who are likely to make it out of their youth while they themselves have nothing at all. Several border cities have been embroiled in disputes, often bloody, even leading to this day of celebration.

The United States had offered both political and economic rewards to Khartoum if the nation was allowed to secede peacefully, but those disputes are threatening the nation already. Among the sticking points are the failure to come to a conclusion about the actual borders between the two nations as well as a fair way of dealing with oil revenues which are the main source of income in both economies.

There was a possible show of allegiance by the appearance of nearly two hundred rebels from Darfur which has been embroiled in a nearly decade long battle with Khartoum.

The United Nations Security Council has announced that several thousand peacekeepers and 900 uniformed policemen to the nation to help during the first few days of independence. There will be an official vote on Wednesday to determine United Nations membership for the nation.


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