South Sudan Becomes World's Newest Nation


south sudanUBA, South Sudan -- South Sudan became the world's newest nation early Saturday, officially breaking away from Sudan after two civil wars over five decades that cost the lives of at least 2 million people.
Residents of the new nation – the Republic of South Sudan – danced in the streets, banged on jerry cans and chanted the name of the world's newest president, Salva Kiir.
South Sudan earned independence at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the culmination of a January independence vote guaranteed in a 2005 peace deal that ended the most recent north-south war.
Saturday's early morning celebrations were joyous for the freedom gained but tinged with the memories of family members lost.
Chol Allen, a 32-year-old minister, escaped Sudan in 2003 and eventually settled in Memphis, Tennessee. Later Saturday, world leaders will attend a celebratory ceremony. Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell also will attend, as will Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, whose country already has recognized South Sudan.

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