Maymona, 28, from Sudan sits on a bed at her home in Juba, South Sudan, June 8, 2014. Maymona is from Sudan's Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state. The state remained part of Sudan after the secession of the South three years ago, and has been the scene of clashes between rebels and the Sudanese military.
Sudan and South Sudan's leaders met this weekend to begin addressing disputes that have spurred violence in the tense border region.
South Sudan accuses Sudan of supporting the brutal Lord's Resistance Army in order to sow instability.
Despite the United Nations' insistence, the Sudanese Army is refusing to pull out of Abyei until Ethiopian peacekeeping forces are fully deployed.
Sudan may have split into two new countries, but the violent disagreements continue. New talks must include more women. Their exclusion from these negotiations is a cause of instability, not its cure.
Western- and UN-backed aid organizations have lined up to support the fledgling Republic of South Sudan, but the challenges facing the nation 'would tax even the most developed of countries.'
Joy and reverence rippled through the crowds during South Sudan's independence ceremony on Saturday.
South Sudan burst into song, dance, and exultation as people ushered in July 9. Today, South Sudan officially becomes the world's newest nation after decades of armed liberation struggle.
As its independence draws near, South Sudan has yet to agree how to divide oil revenues with its northern neighbor, which has the infrastructure to export the oil the south needs to sell to survive.
As the Republic of South Sudan prepares to declare independence Saturday, internal ethnic and political divisions threaten the nation's long-term viability.