South Sudan Becomes 193rd United Nations Member

Posted July 14th, 2011 at 5:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The national flag of newly independent South Sudan went up outside the United Nations on Thursday, shortly after becoming the world body's 193rd member.

Hundreds of diplomats gathered outside U.N. headquarters in New York to see the flag being raised for the first time after the U.N. General Assembly admitted the country by acclamation.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir for ensuring that the south's referendum for independence and its results were honored. He said the north and south share a common destiny and must see a future as true partners, not rivals.

The U.S. representative to the U.N., Susan Rice, said South Sudan has taken its rightful place among the community of sovereign nations after great suffering and unimaginable loss during the country's long civil war with the north.

Sudan's U.N. envoy said the people of South Sudan have left bitterness and war behind them and are looking toward the future.

South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar vowed his country will be a responsible member of the international community and will respect its obligations under international law.

The world's newest nation declared independence on Saturday, splitting from Sudan. The two sides fought a bloody 21-year civil war that ended in 2005.

The now neighboring countries are still trying to work out disputes over borders and oil revenue. The Ethiopian government says it has started deploying troops to the disputed Abyei region this week. The U.N. Security Council recently authorized deployment of a 4,200 strong-Ethiopian peacekeeping force to monitor the situation there.