Washington, DC – Congressman Howard Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement in advance of South Sudan declaring independence tomorrow, July 9, and officially creating the Republic of South Sudan.

“Tomorrow, after many long and trying years, South Sudan will join the international community of nations. The people of South Sudan have struggled greatly to reach this day and I commend them on the perseverance and hope that has characterized their journey. As challenges still remain for South Sudan, the United States and the rest of the international community are committed to supporting and assisting this new nation and its people. Tomorrow marks a truly momentous accomplishment for South Sudan. I welcome and congratulate them on this historic occasion and wish them good fortune on their future as an independent state.”