Politics

South Sudan: Independence day (PHOTOS)

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At 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, the southerners officially proclaimed their freedom.

Credit:

Nichole Sobecki

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    Leaders from around the world gathered today for a ceremony marking the independence of the Republic of South Sudan.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    Traditional dancing, singing, military parades, official speakers, and the signing of the constitution took place in the heat of the day.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    A sea of people filled Freedom Square in Juba, next to the mausoleum of the late John Garang, the rebel leader who led the South Sudanese during the civil war.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    Tens of thousands gathered in Juba under the baking sun.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    Security was high throughout Juba, the capital of the world's newest country: South Sudan.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    A band played the national anthem to the crowds.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    A military parade on Saturday morning kicked off South Sudan's independence celebrations.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    After more than five decades of an underdog, guerrilla struggle and two million lives lost, the Republic of South Sudan, Africa’s 54th state, declared its independence.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    The President of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir signed the constitution and took his oath of office in from of tens of thousands of people.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    A host of world leaders spoke on the podium, but the real party was at the back of the site where thousands danced to traditional drum beats.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    Many of those who turned out to celebrate spoke of friends and loved ones killed in the long struggle to break free from the Arab-dominated north.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    At 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, the southerners officially proclaimed their freedom.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki

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    This new nation is being built on a guerrilla army — the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, whose field commanders are now South Sudan’s political leaders.

    Credit:

    Nichole Sobecki