The 9th of July will go down in history.

In the midst of East Africa’s devastating drought, a new country is born. Today marks the start of a new era for Sudan; one, we hope, of peace and prosperity for both north and south.

On separation, the Republic of South Sudan will be one of the poorest nations in the world. There are also outstanding issues that need to be settled between the Northern and Southern governments such as sharing natural resources and marking official borders.

Over the past few months, CAFOD supporters have been standing alongside the Sudanese Church in praying for peace in Sudan. Many of you have also written to your MPs calling on the UK government to keep its promises. The UK government, as a guardian of the 2005 peace agreement, has a crucial role to play in ensuring long-term peace and development.

Please write to your MP asking them to work for long-lasting peace

Thank you to all of you who have already sent letters to your MP. We would ask you to continue to pray for peace at this time and to urge friends to act and pray for the people of Sudan.

But this is also a time to celebrate the birth of a new nation.  And here are some school children in South Sudan singing their new national anthem: