South Sudan becomes the latest new nation
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are among international figures attending the celebrations in the capital. Sudan is the first state to officially recognize its new neighbor.
South Sudan’s independence became reality after decades of conflict with north in which nearly 1.5 million people died. South Sudan became the 193rd country recognized by the UN and 54th member state in Africa.
Celebrations in Juba started at the mid night. The new national anthem was played on television when a count down clock in the city center reached zero. Reports from the city say the new country’s problems are put aside and it is full of great jubilation.
People are in the streets cheering, banging drums, waving South Sudan’s national flag and chanting the name of President Salva Kiir Mayardit. A formal independence ceremony will be held on Saturday.
James Wani Igga, the speaker of South Sudan Legislative Assembly is expected to read out the proclamation of independence at 1145 which will be followed by flag hosting of new South Sudan while lowering Sudan’s national flag.
Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement a referendum was held on independence and it was favored by 99% of voters. Though the country is rich in oil, it is one of the least developed countries in the world. The country’s one in seven children dies before the age of five.
Besides, the unresolved border disputes with north remain the possibility of new conflict.
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