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Think Out Loud

South Sudan's Independence Day

Pete Springer/OPB

On July 4, two satirically patriotic bands played in my yard. We grilled a glut of hot dogs and celebrated over domestic suds.

Five days later, a new nation was born. South Sudan gained sovereignty on July 9 with less fanfare in the Pacific Northwest than in its capitol city, Juba. But a small Sudanese community of about 300 200 people watched from their homes in Oregon as 98.8 percent of South Sudanese residents voted for their independence.

As one article categorized it, last Saturday’s historic events are “an event, but also a process.” The largely illiterate and impoverished country will face challenges around security, education and infrastructure along with choosing a new currency.

Have you ever experienced an inaugural Independence Day? How do you reflect on your nation’s birth? What is the significance of this world event to you?


  • Samuel Dilla: President of Sudanese Fellowship in Portland
  • Randy Martin: Director of Global Emergency Operations for Mercy Corps
foreign policy

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