July 9th is INDEPENDENCE DAY for the new Republic of South Sudan! Across the land, there will be drums accompanying the singing of their new national anthem, many long speeches, days of dancing and festive meals. The people of S. Sudan are surely ready for REJOICING!
Behind the celebrations, however, lurks the awful threat of a return to war. Omar al-Bashir (President of the North, who is under international indictment for war crimes in Darfur), last week reversed his June agreement to a cessation of hostilities. His army has already invaded the internal border regions, allegedly bombing villages, executing civilians, and claiming the land. This Northern aggression has caused over 160,000 Southerners to flee from their villages since mid-May.
Why not hold a birthday party wherever you are today and light a candle for PEACE in all of Sudan?