Africa's longest-running civil war came to an end in 2005 with the signing of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which included as a clause: a referendum of independence for southern Sudan. Six years later, citizens of the South voted almost unanimously in favour of secession.

Many believed that the day of the vote - January 9, 2011 - would never come. With secession announced, some questioned whether Khartoum would accept it. But on July 9th, 2011, South Sudan became the world's newest nation at a ceremony attended by both the new president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the president of the Republic of Sudan, Omar al Bashir.

With little infrastructure, and some of the worst development indicators in the world, South Sudan has many challenges ahead. As well as the development the country must undergo, both north and south continue to quarrel about oil revenues and border demarcation.