South Sudan's Journey to Independence
On July 9, the Republic of South Sudan becomes the world’s newest nation. Independence from Sudan is the result of years of conflict, an internationally mediated peace agreement and a peaceful popular vote for separation. Although violence continues throughout Sudan, the January 2011 referendum on independence for South Sudan marks a triumph of the democratic process. More than 97 percent of registered southern Sudanese voters cast ballots to determine their nation’s future. This photo gallery depicts the milestones along South Sudan’s path to independence.