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South Sudan's Moment of Promise

Check out our special edition of West Wing Week that takes you behind the scenes of the referendum that led to today's celebration of an independent South Sudan and President Obama's statement on this important day.

Today, South Sudan became the world’s newest nation. Several months ago West Wing Week took you behind the scenes of the referendum that led to today’s celebration of an Independent South Sudan. We traveled to all parts of the country with the President’s Special Envoy, General Scott Gration. We went behind the scenes at polling stations from Juba to Khartoum, met some of the international community who helped to ensure the vote was fair and peaceful, and traveled to Darfur to inspect conditions and learn about the commitment of the United States to peace in this region after decades of civil war.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out this special edition of West Wing Week here.

Earlier today President Obama sent an email to organizations and individuals in the United States and in Sudan who worked along the South Sudanese people to make this day possible.  You can read the email below and check out the President's statement on recognition of South Sudan.

Dear Friend,

Today, the American people welcome the birth of a new nation. After decades of war and the loss of millions of lives, Southern Sudanese are rejoicing in their newfound independence. And as President, I am honored to formally recognize the Republic of South Sudan as a sovereign and independent nation.  

Many people made this day possible, first and foremost, the people of South Sudan who have endured extraordinary hardship and sacrifices to determine their own destiny.

But today is also a validation of the hard work by all of you -- extraordinary organizations and individuals who have devoted yourselves to the cause of security, dignity and justice for all the Sudanese people. So I wanted you to be among the first to see my message recognizing the world's newest nation.

For many years, you've shined a spotlight on suffering and demanded that the world never forget Sudan and its people.

You have insisted that the Sudanese people remain a priority, and when the prospect of a successful referendum was in doubt, you joined with my Administration and the international community to rally support for self-determination.

Together, we have been able to support the Sudanese people as they achieved progress that many thought was impossible. Your efforts have helped to save countless lives and give hope to people who have known too much suffering. Now, the people of South Sudan have the opportunity to realize a future where their lives are valued and their human rights are upheld.

There are many difficult days still ahead. But today, I want you to know that I and my Administration will continue to stand up for the Sudanese people and the future they deserve. And in partnership with you and your dedicated organizations, I'm confident that we can continue to save innocent lives and show the profound difference that American leadership can make in our world.  

Barack Obama

Read my statement on the recognition of the Republic of South Sudan.