Reportage: South Sudan: Birth of a Nation
Sudan's civil war was fueled by a mixture of religion, ideology, oil and ethnicity and was one of the longest lasting and deadliest conflicts of the later 20th century. On July 9th, 2011 Southern Sudan became the Republic of South Sudan - the world's newest nation. The war decimated the population, ruined infrastructure, destroyed the economy and tore apart the social fabric of South Sudan. The region is plagued by spiraling inter-tribal violence that has killed thousands of people. Drought has compounded the violence as the pastoralist tribes compete for scarce water and pasturage. Landmines and other explosive remnants of war continue to kill and maim civilians, prevent land from being used for agriculture, impede refugees from returning to their homes, block reconstruction projects and inhibit economic development. While the new nation faces enormous challenges, the independence ceremonies were steeped in joy and celebration - redemption for a people who have suffered immeasurably.