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South Sudan prays for its future

Volunteers cleared away the rubbish and worshippers offered prayers for its future on Sunday, after South Sudan was feted by the world leaders, as it celebrated independence and began the tough task of nation building.

world Updated: Jul 11, 2011 00:19 IST

Volunteers cleared away the rubbish and worshippers offered prayers for its future on Sunday, after South Sudan was feted by the world leaders, as it celebrated independence and began the tough task of nation building.

"It is a big, big job but we want to make our new capital look beautiful," John Goi Deng, a youth mobiliser, said, as he looked out at the thousands of paper flags that littered Juba's Freedom Square.

Some teenagers collected the rubbish across the vast dirt field where foreign dignitaries and tens of thousands of southerners witnessed the declaration of independence and saw the new country's flag raised.

"You first have to clean and then start to build." Deng said.

The challenges ahead are truly daunting for one of the poorest countries on earth that was left in ruins after five decades of devastating conflict between southern rebels and successive Sudanese governments.

"Joy at independence is tempered by ongoing troubles in the south and north alike," said Zach Vertin, Sudan analyst with International Crisis Group, in a recent report.