Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011

Salva Kiir

The world welcomed its newest state this July when South Sudan, sundered away from its northern half after decades of war, finally won its freedom. But any celebration may be premature, since what may come for the nascent nation remains far from certain. Its new capital, Juba, has few paved roads and, populated by former guerrillas and enterprising oil men, resembles something of a Wild West town. Fittingly, the man in charge, President Salva Kiir, has a penchant for cowboy hats. Once the head of a southern Sudanese liberation militia that warred against Khartoum, Kiir now has to bring order to a nation home to a dizzying kaleidoscope of ethnic groups and languages, myriad armed factions and a long legacy of violence.