On July 9, South Sudan became the world’s newest country when it separated from the North. It now needs to accomplish a host of nation-building steps big and small. From the new country’s to-do list:
Joy and reverence rippled through the crowds during South Sudan's independence ceremony on Saturday.
On Saturday, after decades of civil war and almost two centuries of rule by outsiders, South Sudan will finally become an independent state. Here's a look at the road the fledgling nation has traveled to get to where it is today.
As the Republic of South Sudan prepares to declare independence Saturday, internal ethnic and political divisions threaten the nation's long-term viability.
Maymona, 28, from Sudan sits on a bed at her home in Juba, South Sudan, June 8, 2014. Maymona is from Sudan's Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state. The state remained part of Sudan after the secession of the South three years ago, and has been the scene of clashes between rebels and the Sudanese military.
As many as 80,000 people have reportedly fled Abyei since northern Sudanese troops seized the symbolic border town last month.
South Sudan says the North is at risk of breaking a fragile 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of civil war.
Violence in towns along Sudan's north-south border has prompted a flurry of accusations that are setting a poor stage for the country to peacefully split this summer.
South Sudan will become an independent state on July 9. Will it be able to unify its disparate ethnic groups to form its own national identity?
South Sudan's long-awaited independence referendum produced an overwhelming turnout of 99 percent among voters in the south, one of the poorest and least developed regions on earth.