Southern Sudan votes

12 Jan

Sunday morning in southern Sudan, polls opened for the public to vote on a referendum for independence. 

photo by T U K A I R O

Tens of thousands of people have flocked to vote in the referendum according to a New York Times article.

A new African country may be a victory for the people, but it will have many economic and social struggles to overcome, according to analysts.  Three-quarters of adults are illiterate, and most people live off less than 75 cents per day.  There is a lack of food, sanitation and healthcare, which may prompt violence.

“We have an unfolding humanitarian crisis, layered on top of an existing and forsaken one,” said the International Rescue Committee, an American aid organization that works in Sudan.

The government of the United States has been important in making this vote possible.  In 2005, they convinced the northern and southern Sudanese to sign a peace treaty, which has in turn, put the referendum into action.

The country has lost millions of lives, and people have been fighting for independence for decades.  Philip Geng Nyuol began fighting for independence with his hands nearly 50 years ago. “This is a dream,” Mr. Nyuol said, “a dream we always hoped would come true, even if it took one thousand years.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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