South Sudan will declare itself the world’s newest country on Saturday in a ceremony that caps the region’s long struggle to cede from its northern neighbor. The world’s newest country will come into being on 9 July 2011 - exactly six years after the peace deal which ended the most recent north-south war took effect.
The big unknown is what will be the fate of the thousands of refugees who have been tossed about in the long and protracted war that has seen everything from ethnic cleansing to mass rape. One in three of South Sudan’s children are severely malnourished. Maternal mortality rates are the highest in the world. More than half of primary school age children are not in school. With a population roughly the size of London, the new country has less than 400 girls in the last grade of secondary school. In fact, young girls are more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than achieve literacy.
Read more HERE and below, and above all pray for this new country and its chance for a fresh start and perhaps peace.