In case you were wondering, the world's newest country will be called South Sudan.
The provisional government of the breakaway southern region of Sudan made the announcement on Wednesday, ending speculation - and confusion - over what to call their nation when it formally gets its independence from the rest of Sudan this coming July. News reports seemed split on calling the region “South Sudan” or “Southern Sudan”, though apparently “Nile Republic” and the Biblical name “Cush” were also in the running (personally, I think Nile Republic has a nice ring to it). Confusion over a name hasn't kept South Sudan from already picking a flag and national anthem; and while the city of Juba will serve as the interim capital for South Sudan, according to Foreign Policy magazine, the country would prefer to build a new capital city from scratch in the future.
South Sudan's split from the rest of Sudan came after results of a referendum showed 99% voting in favor of independence. The referendum was part of a 2005 peace accord that halted a decades-long civil war between the largely-Christian south and the largely-Muslim north. So far the government in Khartoum is sticking with their pledge to respect the results of the referendum and allow South Sudan to breakaway, even though the south holds a significant portion of Sudan's oil reserves.
For an interesting visual representation of the North/South divide, check out the NASA photo below, which shows the north as largely desert, while the south (soon South Sudan) is a deep green blanket of grasslands and jungle.
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