On July 9 2011, South Sudan became independent from the north, part of a 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the two-decade-long war between the two regions, which has claimed over two million lives.
This photo gallery features photos taken from UNICEF's trip South Sudan in April 2011, where staff were accompanied by our ambassadors Martin Bell and Mia Farrow. You can read a full account of Martin's trip at the Mail on Sunday website.
Grace (not her real name), along with other girls from her village was abducted for a year by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and frequently beaten. Her back is full of scars. Caught in crossfire, she was shot in the leg and badly wounded but managed to escape and was treated at hospital. She is receiving psychosocial support for trauma at a centre funded by UNICEF and has been reunited with her mother. Now that she is safe, Grace hopes to get an education and her dream is to become a writer.
© Veronique de Viguerie/Reportage by Getty Images for UNICEF