Since gaining independence from colonial rule in 1956, the people of South Sudan have been the victims of constant violence and political turmoil, experiencing only short intervals of peace for nearly half a century. Throughout the First and Second Sudanese Civil Wars, an estimated 2.5 million South Sudanese lost their lives while over 4 million others were displaced.
The Sudanese Civil War formally ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. In a referendum which took place in January, 2011, over 99% of the South Sudanese population voted for independence from the government in Khartoum.
On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became internationally recognized at the world’s 193rd nation.
While leaders of the new South Sudan know that the road towards development will not be without challenges, the people are optimistic for the future of their country.