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South Sudan: New Country, Old Divides

South Sudan is the world’s newest nation, yet it is hardly ever heard of – except when there is a dramatic peak in inter-communal violence or when fighting breaks out between armed groups and government forces, according to Melker Mabeck, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Juba.

Mr Mabeck traveled to Washington DC this autumn to speak with United States officials about the tremendous challenges that this fledgling State faces – from a severe lack of basic infrastructure to the need for a shared national identity.

According to the State Department, the US “played a key role in helping create the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that laid the groundwork for the 2011 independence referendum and secession.” The US is also the leading international donor to South Sudan.

As Mr Mabeck explains in this compelling new Intercross video, South Sudan needs all the friends it can get if it is to bridge longstanding divides between communities, strengthen its core services, and seize its own incredible potential.