Malta recognises South Sudan

The Maltese government has become one of the first to officially recognise south Sudan as a sovereign and independent state.

South Sudan raised the flag of its new nation for the first time yesterday.

Through a note verbale sent by Malta’s Foreign Affairs Ministry to the Ministry of Regional Cooperation of South Sudan, the government said it is recognising South Sudan as a sovereign and independent state complying with all the commitments subscribed to in the United Nations charters.

It expressed its strong hope that the independence and integrity of the Republic of South Sudan will be respected, and that any outstanding issues with the Republic of Sudan will be resolved in the framework of the comprehensive peace agreement, exclusively through peaceful negotiations.

Thousands of South Sudanese citizens and dozens of international dignitaries swarmed the new country capital of Juba to celebrate the country's birth.

At a packed midday ceremony, the speaker of parliament read a proclamation of independence as the flag of Sudan was lowered and the flag of South Sudan was raised, sparking wild cheers from the crowd.

The black African tribes of South Sudan and the mainly Arab north battled two civil wars over more than five decades, and some two million died in the latest war, from 1983-2005. It culminated in a 2005 peace deal that led to today's independence declaration.

South Sudan is expected to become the 193rd country recognised by the United Nations next week and the 54th UN member state in Africa.

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