Special Report: The wonks who sold Washington on South Sudan

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John Garang (L) shakes hands with Roger Winter, now an honorary adviser to the South Sudan government and one of the Council's original members, in this undated image taken in Sudan and provided to Reuters by Roger Winter. Nationhood has many midwives. South Sudan is primarily the creation of its own people. It was southern Sudanese leaders who fought for autonomy, and more than two million southern Sudanese who paid for that freedom with their lives. U.S. President George W. Bush, who set out to end Africa's Longest-running civil war, also played a big role, as did modern-day abolitionists, religious groups, human rights organizations and members of the U.S. Congress. But the most persistent outside force in the creation of the world's newest state was the Council, a tightly knit group never numbering more than seven people, which in the era before email, began gathering regularly at Otello, a restaurant near Washington's DuPont Circle. REUTERS/Handout