This coming July 9, South Sudan is slated to declare its independence and be welcomed into the family of nations. This new country is being born out of decades of conflict and suffering, as the Christians and animists of the south have been brutalized by the Islamist regime in Khartoum. Roughly two million South Sudanese have died as a result of war, famine and disease, while another four million have been displaced.

Many of these refugees are now streaming back home, some with newly acquired skills and a keen desire to help build their new nation. There are still hurdles to overcome, as the South Sudanese Authority must negotiate with its former masters over their common border and a sharing of the land’s rich oil resources.

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