As difficult as the past few years have seemed for residents of Southern Sudan who yearned to be free of their domineering northern neighbors, independence appears to hold no promises of an easier life.

At the end of January the final results of an independence referendum on South Sudan held under UN auspices were tallied. Some 98.3 percent of southerners, who are Christian and animist, voted for separation from Sudan’s Muslims, who live mainly in the north and dominate the government, according to the BBC.

The South Sudanese’ goals are straightforward: Peace, the ability to have more influence in their own affairs and a greater share of the region’s mineral wealth, according to The Economist.

But don’t think there isn’t a hard row to hoe ahead for residents of what is expected to become the world’s newest nation later this summer.

The biggest hurdle is a lack of public services that The Economist termed as “shocking.”

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