South Sudan becomes world's newest nation

Associated Press
People ride a motorcycle during celebrations ahead of independence in the center of Juba, southern Sudan, late Friday, July 8, 2011. South Sudan became the world's newest nation early Saturday, officially breaking away from Sudan after two civil wars over five decades that cost the lives of millions. (AP Photo/David Azia)
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People ride a motorcycle during celebrations ahead of independence in the center of Juba, southern Sudan, late Friday, July 8, 2011. South Sudan became the world's newest nation early Saturday, officially breaking away from Sudan after two civil wars over five decades that cost the lives of millions. (AP Photo/David Azia)

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudanese citizens, international dignitaries and the world's newest president are convening in the new country capital of Juba to celebrate the birth of a nation.

South Sudan became the world's newest country Saturday with a raucous street celebration at midnight.

Dignitaries including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will watch under a blazing sun as South Sudan President Salva Kiir hosts a noon-hour ceremony.

South and north Sudan battled two civil wars over more than five decades, culminating in a 2005 peace deal that led to Saturday's independence declaration.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, the former leader of the south, is also to attend Saturday's ceremony.

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