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Africa, explained
 

Happy Birthday, South Sudan

After a year of tension and turmoil, South Sudan is still standing.
South sudan one year independenceEnlarge
South Sudanese drive around waving the national flag celebrating into the night South Sudan's first anniversary of it's Independence day in Juba, South Sudan on July 9, 2012. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The world's newest nation is a year old today and it's not been an easy start for South Sudan.

Disputes with the north over oil and territory have erupted into armed stand-offs, deadly bombings and outright fighting between their two armies. Tens of thousands of refugees have swarmed across the border from South Kordofan and Blue Nile, two northern regions where rebels are battling Khartoum. Tens of thousands more have become internal refugees as tribal fighting and cattle raiding have left many hundreds dead. In the new capital Juba corruption is sky-high and inequality growing as the oil-dependent economy collapses.

And yet, South Sudan exists and persists, a troubled nation for sure, but not a failed state, at least not so far. There are quite a number of worthwhile reads marking South Sudan's anniversary, here is a selection:

BBC correspondent James Copnall writing in Britain's Guardian newspaper.

Author Ros Wynne-Jones writing in Britain's Independent newspaper and in The Mirror.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa/south-sudans-birthday