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Since gaining independence from Sudan in July 2011, South Sudan has descended into armed conflict with rebels inside the country and border disputes with Sudan.

Critics accuse President Salva Kiir’s government of corruption and incompetence.

Mrs. Page urged the South Sudanese to work to save their republic.

“Straying from the path of democracy will dash the hopes and dreams of a people who have sacrificed far beyond the comprehension of those who have never personally experienced war or been marginalized in their homeland,” she said.

“The road traveled by those seeking emancipation can span decades, leaving the soles of countless feet and shoes cracked and worn. Yet, with bloodied feet and unbroken pride, believers march on because they know their sacrifices will not be in vain.”

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.