South Sudanese Mark Independence Anniversary
On July 9, South Sudan, the world's newest country, celebrated the first anniversary of its independence. Meet the people of South Sudan and learn about their hopes and dreams for their new nation. Each works for Catholic Relief Services in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Osman Issa Bin Aligo, finance assistant
"On July 9, 2011, we finally felt our prayers have been answered after a long struggle. This was the time me, my family members and friends were so emotional that freedom has finally come, with expectations of everlasting peace, harmony and prosperity. The independence declaration made me feel I can achieve my dreams, since peace has finally reached my country after all the tragedy around its corners. I personally felt relief of being at home after being forced to exile from a war-ravaged country. I welcome the U.S. and international community with all the support they have shown in delivering their services to the young nation."
Elizabeth Abuk, cleaner
"After independence I have observed a decline in internal conflicts and, with this, there is room for development. I hope for stability so that children can go to school and that I even can return to school. Also with stability comes development. My dream is that South Sudan becomes like the United States, where people are enjoying the fruits of peace."
Jimmy Moro Samuel, program assistant
"I see [independence] as a milestone for total freedom giving way to total stability, peace and prosperity. My hope for South Sudan is to let the peace prevail, with the dream of seeing support from all charitable and good friends from overseas to come to South Sudan to develop the human resources and infrastructure in this new nation. I kindly urge the U.S. government, who is the key player in the peace processes between Sudan and South Sudan, and the international community to strongly support to bring a lasting peace."
Eric Kerri, driver
"We are now a full nation, and I am very proud to become independent. Before we have been struggling for it and now we achieved our goal and everybody is free. The future of our country is we want to join our hands with internationals to build this young nation. My dream is that South Sudan becomes a very good country with democracy, where any foreigner can come here and is free and feels at home. I thank God that he placed all Southerners and internationals together here in South Sudan."