Welcome one and all to today's game of Geopolitical UltraChess!
For a special treat, this round will be played in the world's newest nation, South Sudan. Let's take a look:
THE BOARD: South Sudan is an African nation that split from neighboring Sudan by 98% popular vote in 2011.
The vote itself resulted from a peace deal for a decades-long civil war that left 1.5 million people dead.
THE PLAYERS: South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir, accused his vice president, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup and fired him in December of 2013.
The two men hail from different ethnic groups with a history intermittent alliance and conflict.
The last year has been a bloody one for the already-hurting nation as political strife whipped anxious ethnic groups into renewed conflict that has displaced 1.5 million people.
THE TERRAIN: In case the situation was too simple for you, the board is also sticky with three and a half billion barrels of oil, weapons left over from the civil war, and a population almost half of whose members are under the age of fourteen.
THE OUTCOME: Please forward winning strategies to USDemocrazy, c/o The Internet.
South Sudan is complex, but not hopeless.
Peace talks between Kiir and Machar are set to resume on February 19th.
When they do, onlookers should remember that South Sudan gained independence just three years ago, in a peaceful process that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called
If South Sudan can weather this storm, democracy may yet take root.