South Sudan's separation from North Sudan, which becomes official on Saturday, is the cause for major celebration among the millions who voted for secession, but those monitoring the humanitarian situation are wary of what might happen after the revelers return home.
Almost 99 percent of 3 million Southern Sudanese voted for independence in January. The referendum was promised under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, which ended a 22-year civil war between the mostly Arab Muslim North and Christian and animist South.
The impending division has raised tensions between the two sides, however. Fighting between Northern and Southern-aligned armed groups and among tribes, such as clashes over cattle, have left more than 2,300 Southern Sudanese dead, including 500 in the last two weeks in June, the United Nations said Thursday.
Refugees International has warned that tens of thousands of Southerners now living in the North are trying to return to the South, and are reporting some run-ins with police and harassment by other residents at transportation hubs.
For more on the humanitarian situation in Southern Sudan, both in the short-term and long-term as it becomes its own country, we spoke to Matthew Lovick, Africa director at Mercy Corps, from Juba, the city that will become the capital of the new Republic of South Sudan.