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Two years is not a long time to create a political system that effectively guarantees the rights of all citizens, but the South Sudanese have little choice in the matter. Geography, history and ethnic divisions have joined forces to impose just such a time frame upon them.

The world’s newest country now needs all the help we can give.

Rep Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican, is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of its Africa, global health, global human rights and international organizations subcommittee.