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South Sudan celebrates Independence Day

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South Sudan celebrates Independence Day

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It is Independence Day in South Sudan and citizens of the world’s newest nation have taken to the streets to celebrate.

Having voted to breakaway in a referendum, their dreams became reality at the stroke of midnight as Africa’s largest country split in two.

While Khartoum was the first capital to recognise the independence of the south, border issues and other unresolved disputes with the north remain.

Decades of north-south civil war were triggered by differences over ideology, religion, ethnicity and oil.

It ended with a peace deal in 2005 but an estimated two million people, most of them southerners, died in the fighting.

As those they have left behind look to the future, international concerns remain about stability. And, on the eve of secession, the UN Security Council voted to establish a new peacekeeping force for the oil-producing but underdeveloped south.