Monday, July 11, 2011

South Sudan Officially It's Own Country After Years of Civil War With North

Messages of solidarity and felicitations from religious freedom organizations have poured in for the newly created nation of South Sudan that broke away – partly on religious lines – from its northern counterpart Saturday, even as the nation takes stock of its challenges.

he Institute on Religion and Public Policy congratulated the world’s youngest nation and assured its support.

In a statement issued Friday, the IRPP chairman Joseph K. Grieboski said that the institute “reaffirms its commitment to their peace, security, and development, and guarantees its ongoing partnership to build a free, open and transparent system in South Sudan."

Grieboski, the founder of Alexandria, Va.-based institute, has been involved in both Muslim-majority north and Christian and animist south Sudan.

Over 2 million have died in two long civil wars that pitted the north against the south, on issues ranging from more regional autonomy for the southern Sudan region to resistance to imposition of Shariah law there.

In 2005, a Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed between the warring groups, which also stipulated a referendum. On January 9, 2011, nearly 99 percent southern Sudanese voted in favor of a new nation.

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