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Tomorrow Republic of South Sudan celebrates its independence. Guernica counts down its top five reports on Sudan.

By **Justin Alvarez**

After almost five decades of civil war against the Muslim north, Republic of South Sudan celebrates its independence tomorrow, July 9, as the world’s 193rd nation and Africa’s 54th state. Amidst the celebrations, the country continues to struggle with border tension and anti-government militia raids, presumably backed by Omar al-Bashir’s government. With only 100 miles of paved roads, 85 percent adult illiteracy rate and about half of the country’s 8 million people living on less than a dollar a day, according to the United Nations, the honeymoon will be short-lived. However, as Jon Temin, director of the United States Institute of Peace’s Sudan program, told reporters, “we shouldn’t underestimate southern Sudanese capacity and how long they have waited for this.”

In light of the historic event, Guernica presents five articles from our vault that have covered Sudan over the years.

Contested Territory: Jina Moore interviews Rebecca Hamilton

On July 9, southern Sudan is scheduled to become the world’s newest country. Rebecca Hamilton discusses the impact of this change on the rest of the region.

Jamal Mahjoub: There Will Be Blood

Back in his native Sudan for the first time in years, the author observes the capital’s newfound oil wealth and argues that focusing narrowly on Darfur while ignoring the secessionist South could spell big trouble for all of Sudan.

Samantha Power: Witness to Genocide

Power discusses a range of issues surrounding the questions raised in her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide and whether Congress’s push to define the events in Darfur as “genocide” could be a step toward ending the killings and rapes.

Michal Ronnen Safdie: The Bahai Refugee Camp

When nature strikes we spend a fair amount of energy on the survivors. When humans strike out at one another, we tend to focus on the dead and neglect the living.

The Genocide Myth: Joel Whitney interviews Mahmood Mamdani

In his latest book, Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror, Mamdani attacks the Save Darfur Coalition as ahistorical and dishonest, and argues that the conflict in Darfur is more about land, power, and the environment than it is directly about race.

Copyright 2011 Justin Alvarez


Justin Alvarez is an editorial assistant at Guernica. Read more about him here.

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