1. Education
Matt Rosenberg

The World's Newest Country

By February 7, 2011

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South SudanOn July 9, 2011, the number of countries in the world will likely grow by one to 196. South Sudan can legally declare independence from Sudan following the official results of a referendum held in January. Nearly 99% of voters in South Sudan chose the independence option over remaining part of Sudan. While the new country has not yet officially selected a name, it is possible that "South Sudan" will be the 196th country's name.

While speculation centered on Juba as the new capital, South Sudan plans to build a new capital city for the new country. A flag and national anthem have, however, been selected. The Guardian provides an excellent map of the proposed boundaries of South Sudan, which will be a country of approximately 8.3 million. South Sudan will unfortunately join the ranks of the world's poorest countries with most of the country's population in poverty and under eighteen years of age. Just over a quarter of South Sudan's people are literate. Foreign Policy has a nice essay about the upcoming challenges for the world's newest country.(Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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February 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm
(1) Win Barber says:

Our hopes and prayers go out to this new country, which has the world’s highest maternal mortality rate, only 3 surgeons in the entire region, and 90% of whose population live on less than one U.S. dollar a day. Still under discussion is the fate of the tiny “Abyei” border province, which produces over 1/4 of the crude oil of the entire country of Sudan, and could be given to either country. Read the November 2010 “National Geographic magazine” article and pictures of South Sudan, online or at your library.

August 1, 2011 at 12:43 am
(2) Maxim says:

For you comment on the newest country you said “Our hopes and prayers go out to this new country.”, did you read what else this country this has done? This country killed a whole village of innocent women, men, and children just out of revenge. So to be honest this country is another loser county because it is breaking of its original country.
So I am glad some of these people live on 1 dollar a day.
“Life isn’t fair!” Bill Gates

February 10, 2011 at 2:06 am
(3) Don Hirschbeerg says:

It is hard to understand how Southern Sudanese can be “jubilant.” The most crucial problem, who gets how much of the oil money, has not been resolved.

Large numbers of people are living in settlements around Juba without roads, sewers, or electricity. Imagine this: A 15 year old girl is more likely to die in childbirth than to finish high school. About 85% are illiterate. Yet the population is growing. These poor people don’t have the chance of a snowball in Hell.

Sudan is on the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism, and the North government announces that they intend to become an even more Islamic fundamentalist state.

February 14, 2011 at 2:49 am
(4) Pam Ayuba Dangwong says:

As we join the world to rejoice with the yet-to-be born “new child” it is my candid prayer that the people of South Sudan who chose to be independent would experience greater era of peace and harmony. I recall the story of their ruthless massacre by government sposored janjaweed ethnic militia, the rape of women and especially children, the select murder of their brains and builders of their new state, the depletion of their arable land, denial of right to be gainfully employed and have accessed to good and quality education amongst other privillages, one cannot but pray that God would give them good leaders which has been the bane of development in Africa. I pray that the likes of Gadafi of Lybia, desposed Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and despots like late Nigeria military ruler Sani Abacha and those seat-tight rulers in the continent would stay clear from the affairs of this would be newest country of the world come July 9 2011. My fear also is that the international community would help rather than scrable for the oil in that region. The experience of how multi-national oil giants like Shell, Agip etc would not begin another round of killings in this new state and increase corruption in governance as the experience we are having in Nigeria rich Niger Delta region. Again, my fear is that construction giants like Julius Berger, PW as in Nigeria would not reduce this new state to a corrupt country through uncalled contract inflation and building of mansions to their would be leaders all in the name of securing fat contracts. My fear is that the new state would not experience internecine wars, ethni cleansing and those social vices that creats deep animosity than encourage harmony. My prayer for them is to keep a little diplotic ties with Mamud Adeenajad of Iran and all those haters of democracy and haters of men. Those who sees no value in human rights and lives. I pray that they would emulate world leaders like Madiba, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond TUtu, Goodluck Jonatha of Nigeria and former Nigeria leader Dr. Yakubu Gowon. Above all, may God be with them and see them through as we await this new born to the world. Happy birth day in adavance “Southern Sudan”.

February 16, 2011 at 5:17 am
(5) shivendra chauhary says:



February 14, 2011 at 7:45 am
(6) AJ says:

Well, industrialism seems to be the way a lot of the previous rulers have done it, I reckon it’s going to be the same here. I think it’s a good thing the people are now independent, it should be an interesting new chapter in this nation’s story.

February 14, 2011 at 8:51 am
(7) Becky says:

I write for National Geographic’s My Wonderful World blog and we recently posted about the uprising in Egypt which has now led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. In the past Egypt has served as a moderating force and a watchdog of sorts for the United States in this region of the world, now Egypt itself is in turmoil. What affect, if any, do you think this will have on South Sudan as they work toward declaring independence? Also do you know how the border with Sudan that South Sudan will share was decided upon? There is a chance that I will be writing about South Sudan’s journey to independence in the future. Would it be alright if I re-posted an excerpt from your blog on our page? Thanks.

February 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm
(8) Don Hirschberg says:

“ I pray that they would emulate world leaders like Madiba, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond TUtu,…”

And what has been the progress with these leaders in post-Apartheid South Africa? Well, for one thing the increased murder and rape rates have made South Africa champion of the world. How bad is it? The UN estimates are far higher than the highest rates SA releases. I hope South Sudan does better than SA.

February 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm
(9) RAEDWULF says:


February 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm
(10) Edy Foster says:

It is all so frustrating at times, I’m homeschooling my daughter and when we came to this article and I told her there would be a new country we were excited and curious. After reading about what the people have gone through, what they are going through and what they will more than likely have to go through it is so sad and discouraging. I try to teach her that basically all people are the same, and want the same things, to feel safe and secure, a descent home, a happy family that they are able to provide for, healthy food, and the necessities of life sprinkled with a few extras. We teach our children that they should play nice, try to get along and to share. If the world would do the same how much nicer it would be…from what I have read here it doesn’t look to promising. How do I teach these realities to my daughter without it giving her such a negative outlook on people and the world?

February 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm
(11) Win Barber says:

EDY FOSTER: I strongly urge your children to ask your local library for “Three Cups of Tea” and the sequel book “Stones into Schools” by Greg Mortenson (or Mortensen). “…Tea” was the #1 best-selling non-fiction book in America. There is even a children’s version, in fact. Also read the best-seller “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof (it’s both shocking and encouraging), and read Kristof’s frequent columns on the New York Times website. Also, if you receive the new “HALOGEN” Cable TV Channel, it has some excellent “reality show” series such as “Penny Revolution” “The New Heroes” “4 Real” and “Noble Exchange” all of which deal with helping the poor in developing countries.

February 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm
(12) Don Hirschberg says:

Alas, Edy Foster, why do you want to teach what does not exist? “All men are created equal.” What utter nonsense. For example In South Africa one in three young men will actually ADMIT to raping women (ha ha) and the rape of children is probably much higher – who knows just how high? Yet in many countries both rich and poor rape is rare and disgraceful. Boys who do not rape are not so taught, they have learned it by living in a decent society.

February 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm
(13) Edy Foster says:

Win Barber, Thank you for your suggested reading, I will have her look them up. It sounds like something that may help a lot. Unfortunately we don’t get the new cable channel but your suggestion made me think of going through listings and see if what we get may have similar type shows. I always thought there should be a News type show called Good News that highlighted some of the better things going on since the regular news programs seem to want to go out of their way to find bad news rather than say anything good to the point if we don’t have enough bad around here to report and fill the time they will search the country and the world for more bad news elsewhere to fill their time slot. People need to know it’s not all doom and gloom.

February 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm
(14) Sally Amparado says:

To Edy Foster,

It is a privilege to read your message here. Me too I understand that what makes the world perfect is the negative and positive happenings in it. But we can be a good part of the world if we try to live peacefully and teach our children how to live on it. As it says ” Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” The highest percentage of a persons’ attitude towards where, how and whom he wants to be associated with is a choice and that decisions principally comes from their youth – It is a home. Though sometimes children as they grow may not be the person the way we want them to be, but surely in our own home children learn first those things. But as they grow, sometimes children may not choose to live what they learn from their parents. Depends on how a person reacts on to things and from what they observe from their surroundings. – Sally Amparado

February 28, 2011 at 4:28 am
(15) Miller says:

it’s nothing serious
but it needs a country, a government there!

March 7, 2011 at 5:35 am
(16) Luke says:

When only 1/4 of the population are literate, I imagine that only that amount can have voted (or at least voted knowing what they were doing), so 99% (which I find to be a suspicious number) of 1/4 is still far less than being a majority.
And surely if the region is in such an awful state, giving it “independence” would only worsen the situation, since then their government would have even fewer resources with which to deal with the problems facing them.

March 11, 2011 at 2:18 am
(17) Don Hirschberg says:

Luke, voting by symbol has been a longstanding and continuing practice. Even in present US we use the donkey and the elephant.

A literacy test for voters might have some support where literacy is presumed but in a place such as South Sudan where perhaps only 15% could pass a literacy test it would make a mockery of and subvert the voting franchise.

July 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm
(18) comrade Sunday bibi west jr. says:

leviticus 25:8-55 surely one day the world will listen to the silent voice of peace,so climb ye the heights of liberty and cease not in well doing until you have planted the FLAG of NIGER DELTA REPUBLIC. on the Hill tops of AFRICA.by comrade Sunday Bibi west jnr

May 2, 2012 at 1:44 am
(19) w malborkudomy says:

You have a very good blog. For a.. a long time looking for something so wonderful.

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