South Sudan's Independence Gets a 'Rocky' Start
South Sudanese celebrate their first independence day in the country's capital Juba. Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.
In the year since South Sudan became an independent country, it has seen violent flare-ups between ethnic groups and a financial squeeze brought on by its decision to cut off oil to its northern neighbor, Sudan.
"It's been a rocky first year, but I don't think that's surprising," said Jonathan Temin, director of the U.S. Institute of Peace's Sudan program. South Sudanese had high expectations when they became independent on July 9, 2011, but the process of nation-building is a long one.
One of the country's top challenges remains security. Deep animosities exist between different indigenous groups in South Sudan, said Temin. "We've seen thousands of violent deaths in South Sudan, particularly cattle raids in Jonglei state" in the western part of South Sudan.
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