News One is reporting that South Sudan will officially become an independent nation on Saturday after 50 years of civil wars that left 2 million dead. Military parades and celebrations will burst forth Saturday in front of dozens of visiting world leaders. 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.
In the Southern capital of Juba this week, the Republic of South Sudan's new national anthem blared from cellphones.
"It took a combination of bullets and ballots to attain our hard-earned independence," read a new sign next to a main intersection in Juba.
Southern Sudan has its work cut out for it, but gaining independence has never been easy for any nation. They've got to start from the bottom and hope that the struggle will be embraced as opposed to rejected, resulting in more conflict for the burgeoning nation. Hopefully the festivities will set the tone for the spirit of independence that will help the new nation thrive instead of fail, as many predict.
Read more at News One.
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