SOUTHERN SUDAN (CNN) -- Tomorrow, Saturday, Southern Sudan will officially declare its independence from the north.
In a remote, impoverished region of Africa, people are preparing for a celebration. Cleaning up the capital city of what will be the world's newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan. Some are already displaying the country's new flag.
Located on the dry plains of North Africa, South Sudan will be formed by splitting the Republic of Sudan in two. It's a hard-won independence, based on a referendum, which followed decades of civil war between north and south - a conflict that left two million people dead, and still echoes today. Recent skirmishes on the disputed border have continued to cause displacement and starvation.
Though most of South Sudan is now peaceful, it will become one of the world's poorest countries, with one of the highest infant mortality rates and lowest education levels on the planet. But the region is rich in oil, largely untapped resources that could offer the new country a chance at economic development.
It's a hopeful beginning for a country whose future is still unclear.