South Sudan

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South Sudan

Postby ¿NEW NATION¿ » 8th July 2011, 17:49

Dear Zambia,

July 8, 2011 8:56 AM Print Text
South Sudan becoming nation amid fragile peace

(CBS/AP) JUBA, Sudan - The people of South Sudan finally get their own country on Saturday, an emotional independence celebration few thought possible during a half century of civil wars and oppression that left more than 2 million dead.

Military parades and celebrations will burst forth Saturday in front of dozens of visiting world leaders. But when that party ends, South Sudan must face grim realities: It will be one of the most underdeveloped countries on the planet, only 15 percent of its citizens can read and fears of renewed conflict abound.
South Sudan's successful independence drive was made possible by a 2005 peace deal between Sudan's north and south. Last January, former guerrilla fighters shed tears as they cast votes to break away from the control of the Khartoum-based north.

Among those who cast ballots at special U.S. polling stations were some of the 3,800 war orphans known as the Lost Boys of Sudan, who ran away from war and were taken in by communities in the United States.

Despite the progress made in the region since 2005, a new U.N. peacekeeping mission for South Sudan will have up to 7,000 military personnel and 900 international police with a mandate to keep peace and help promote development in the world's newest nation, according to the draft U.N. resolution obtained late Thursday by The Associated Press.

The council scheduled a meeting Friday morning where diplomats said the draft resolution is almost certain to be approved unanimously.

The draft resolution would establish a new United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan on July 9 for an initial period of one year, with security forces as well as civilian staff including human rights experts. It calls for reviews after three months and six months to determine if conditions on the ground would allow the military contingent to be reduced from 7,000 to 6,000 troops.

In the southern capital of Juba this week, the Republic of South Sudan's new national anthem blared from cell phones.

"It took a combination of bullets and ballots to attain our hard-earned independence," reads a new sign next to a main intersection here.

Albino Gaw, a member of a minority tribe who works for the government in Juba, said he's excited about the south's independence. The 30-year-old former child soldier said he's pessimistic though about how much work lies ahead.

"The day will be good but people are expecting something more than we've gotten in the past five years," he said. "A lot of work needs to be done by the government. Otherwise things will be like they were before."
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