Thousands of civilians have been murdered in South Sudan since the launch of this month's ethnic bloodletting in the Africa's newest state that hopes to celebrate its second anniversary in July.

south sudanThe massacres are being carried out in the aftermath of the sacking of South Sudan's VP Riek Machar by current president Salvir Kiir, who is from the Nuer tribe. Machar is a Dinka.

Helicopters used by U.S. Special Operations to rescue American civilians came under heavy fire during the weekend.

Meanwhile, South Sudan has a three-page advertorial in the Dec. 30 issue of Time, touting investment opportunities in its energy and agricultural sectors. South Sudan, says the ad, has a "globalized population and a tremendous reservoir of international concern."

The ad copywriter got that right. Western powers are concerned that the current destabilization of South Sudan could infect the rest of Africa and spur the rise of terrorist organizations.

(Image: CIA Factbook)