“Oh God, we praise and glorify you; for your grace on South Sudan; the land of great abundance; uphold us united in peace and harmony.”
This is the first stanza of the national anthem of the Republic of South Sudan, a nation that did not exist prior to July 9 of this year.
After decades of civil war and internal conflict, South Sudan finally gained its independence from the northern part of the country. The secession took place after a historic vote conducted in January.
The Republic of South Sudan is now the world’s 196th nation. It is comprised of approximately eight million citizens led by newly elected president Salva Kiir Mayardit. On July 14, the new country was inducted into the United Nations, becoming the organization’s 193rd nation member.
While the United Nations accepted the Republic of South Sudan with open arms, tensions linger between the new nation and it’s Northern counterpart.
“With the declared independence of South Sudan, approximately one fourth of Sudan’s land area has been removed,” says Donna Mountz, Eastern University’s Geography professor. “There are valuable resources in the south. As in the north there are vast reserves of oil and the south has a fertile soil and plenteous supplies of water that make this region very different from the north”
A recent UN report found that 1,500 people have been killed and 73,000 displaced in South Sudan’s conflicts during recent months. Much of this conflict has been attributed to rebel groups in the South, including groups connected with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.
Despite the present conflict, world leaders are hopeful about the future of South Sudan.
“South Sudan has remarkable potential,” said Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations. “With substantial oil reserves, huge amounts of arable land and the Nile flowing through its center, South Sudan could grow into a prosperous, self-sustaining nation.”
The 8 million citizens of South Sudan are also maintaining a thankful attitude about their new nation. “There are those who would attribute this remarkable, uncontested independence to the God of the people of South Sudan,” Mountz said. “These people are thanking Christians the world over for their prayers to Almighty God for this new nation to be allowed to exist.”
Sources: NY Times
Sudan Vision Daily