Juba (South Sudan), July 10 (ANI): Residents of newly formed South Sudan have sought India's assistance in building of infrastructure in their country after celebrations to mark the first independence day on Saturday.
Thousands of South Sudanese danced and cheered at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum, as their new country formally declared its independence, after a hard-won separation from the North that plunged the fractured region into a new period of uncertainty.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir stood next to his five decade old civil war foe, the President of North Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who now leads the north, at the ceremony to mark the birth of Africa's 54th state.
Representatives from around the world, including Indian Vice-President Hamid Ansari, attended the celebrations and pledged for peace and development in the world's newest country.
An elated local, Akok M. Madut described it as the happiest moment of their lives as they were fighting for it for a century.
He said the country is looking forward to India as it has lots in store for South Sudan, especially in the field of information technology and education.
"I can say for all South Sudanese and Africans all over the world, I think it is a great day, very big day because people have been fighting for almost hundred years. So that when we lead today for the final day, everyone will be happy whether in the rural areas or the urban areas. Everyone is feeling good for today because they get what they were wanting for a century," said Madut.
"I think India has a far of the emerging economic state. India has a lot of things to do for South Sudan. Specially, India is the best in nowadays for Information Technology, for best education, for the best of the service like. ...education, analysis and others. I think that is best first country in Asia for buying something for South Sudan especially," he added.
Ansari laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Dr. John Garang, the late rebel army leader who is considered the father of the nation.
Africa's newest nation wants global help for development in education, health, medical and infrastructure.
"See it as a base of great hope. I was here 32 times during the war that is why I have place of honour now because with people in the dark times, they are frenzying good times and I was here 32 times with humanitarian aid and telling around what is happening. And in those days, today was not possible. Now the people have courage. They are good people and I wish them every success," said Baroness Cox, Chief Executive of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, Queensbury.
"It needs economic investment. They have tremendous economic potential. They are good and honest people, they are good workers; it needs help for health care. They have to resist worst in the world, help in the education, last generation not at all had no education, no schooling. All they had was frenzying. They are good people, they deserve the freedom and deserve help," she added.
North and south Sudan fought Africa's longest civil war, but the former enemies signed a peace deal in 2005, which eventually led to Saturday's independence.
Oil-rich South Sudan on Saturday became the world's newest country, splitting away from Khartoum-ruled north after decades of brutal war that claimed some two million lives. By Ravi Khandelwal (ANI)