The Birth of a new nation
Images from Southern Sudan
Independent Moses Spina arrived into the world at the stroke of midnight – the same moment his country was born.
As car horns, gunshots and whistles heralded the birth of the new Republic of South Sudan, he blinked his way into life, touching his new face with tiny hands.
Outside, the capital of Africa’s newest nation was gridlocked with celebrations, flags flying from trees and cars, drums banging, crowds of people dancing and swaying down unlit roads.
“I am so happy,”says his mother, Josephine Spina, 24. “He was born at exactly midnight. Now, because of his birth, perhaps he can become a President like Salva Kiir.”
As a symbol of hope, Independent Moses’ birth in the early hours of Saturday morning could barely be more potent. His mother is a former child soldier who fought with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army from the age of 14 until she was 19.
“My brother and my sister were killed in the war,” Josephine says. “I had nothing to lose by fighting.”
Now, her little son has been born into a peace this nation has barely known in generations. “I am happy for him,” she says. “He will not fight. He will go to school and become a great man.”
This has been a weekend of hope for South Sudan, a once unimaginable moment finally realised.Two million people – several of Josephine’s family among them – have died for freedom.
Below are just a few of the images I shot during my recent visit covering various projects and initiatives for the charity UNICEF.