Nations welcome world's newest state South Sudan



PARIS- World leaders hailed the birth on Saturday of the Republic of South Sudan, the world's newest nation, as a historic event bringing to a close 50 years of conflict in northeastern Africa.
Amid tears of joy in Juba, South Sudan's parliament speaker on Saturday proclaimed his state's independence, splitting in two what had been Africa's largest nation.
US President Barack Obama led official recognition of the country, calling it "another step forward in Africa's long journey toward opportunity, democracy and justice."



"I am proud to declare that the United States formally recognises the Republic of South Sudan as a sovereign and independent state upon this day, July 9, 2011," Obama said in a statement.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon, speaking at the official ceremony in Juba, said a new chapter had been opened "when the people of South Sudan claim their freedom and dignity that is their birthright."
Messages of congratulation flooded in from nations around the world including Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Switzerland and Turkey.
"Today a new country is rising in Africa. I congratulate South Sudan on its independence and wish its people a prosperous and peaceful future," said EU president Herman Van Rompuy in a Twitter message.
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said Africans from the Cape to Cairo were proud of South Sudan's independence, after decades of conflict between the southern rebels and successive Khartoum governments that left the region in ruins and claimed millions of lives.
"We have always aspired to witness the dawn of peace, security and stability prevailing in the whole of the Sudan. That dream is coming to fruition," said Zuma, adding, however, that "change always brings uncertainty and discomfort."
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Juba said the day marked the beginning of "a new dawn" for the people of the new country, a statement from his office said.
Nigeria would support and assist the new country in every possible way as they began the task of building a new nation, he added.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh passed on his country's best wishes in a letter to the new country's President Salva Kiir.
"We applaud your commitment to addressing all outstanding issues with North Sudan in an amicable and peaceful manner," he said.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the move as "a day of joy and great hope for the people".
Offering help to the new nation, she said it was now important "to back South Sudan on the road to stability that will bring people peace, security and economic development."
In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy said the independence declaration was the fulfillment of an exceptional process, initiated by a peace accord in 2005, that all the international community supported and that "the North and South (of Sudan) brought courageously to completion."
British Prime Minister David Cameron said an ambassador to Juba had already arrived to take up his post.
"This is an historic day, for South Sudan and the whole of Africa," he said, adding that Britain was proud to be "among the first to recognise South Sudanese independence".
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a telegram of congratulation to his South Sudanese counterpart and also expressed interest in the vast oil reserves in South Sudan.
"The Russian business world has expressed a strong interest in working with their South Sudanese partners, notably in developing and extracting its natural resources," he said.
China's special envoy extended President Hu Jintao's "warmest congratulations" to the "young Republic" of South Sudan, while noting the ongoing negotiations between north and south.
He said Beijing, Sudan's main trading partner and the largest investor in its key oil industry, hoped the two sides could be "good neighbours, partners and brothers forever."
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Sunday, July 10th 2011
AFP
           


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