Southern Sudan on the Eve of Independence

A survivor of a massacre in Fangak, southern Sudan on Thursday, April 7, 2011. The massacre occurred when forces loyal to rebel General George Athor attacked the to town of Fangak on Feb 9th and 10th, 2011. When the fighting ended, more than 200 people were dead, many of whom were civilians.

On July 9th, 2011, the swamps and plains of southern Sudan will become the world’s 193rd country. For decades across this vast and largely vacant landscape, unspeakable violence and devastation prevailed. More than two million people perished as southern rebels waged a 23-year rebellion against the northern government, aimed at empowering the resource-rich but deeply marginalized south. In 2005, the war came to an ostensible end with an agreement that allowed for the prospect of southern independence in 2011, the same year in which the ceasefire is set to expire.

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