South Sudan, a newly independent state of 8 million, was inducted to the United Nations on Thursday as the 193rd member. This induction comes at a time of uneasy peace with the Sudanese government in the north.
On July 9, South Sudan celebrated its independence in a lively ceremony attended by world leaders. Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary-general was present. South Sudan was then recommended for admittance to the U.N. on Wednesday and the decision was ratified on Thursday.
General Assembly President Joseph Deiss “banged a gavel signaling South Sudan's admission to the world body by acclamation as diplomats burst into applause,” according to The Associated Press.
"Today, we are firmly entrenching South Sudan in the community of nations," Deiss said.
South Sudan’s sovereignty comes after the 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war between the Arab-dominated north and Christians and animists in the South.
This agreement also called for a referendum in which South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for secession.
Ban praised both Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudan’s Present Salva Kiir for honoring the results of the referendum.
"It is imperative that you resolve outstanding differences with the same pragmatism and leadership that you have each shown so far," Ban said. "The well-being and future prosperity of each depends on the other. South and North share a common destiny – they must see a future as true partners, not rivals."
Right now, the two countries have split in name only. There is no sign of decisions being made regarding borders, oil, or status of citizens. The two countries will need to maintain positive relations due to their unique relationship. For example, South Sudan is expected to control more than 75 percent of the daily oil production; however, it has no refineries and must use the north’s pipelines to reach its market.
While Thursday’s ratification is an accomplishment, the South Sudanese people have a long way to go. Currently, the country is among the poorest and least developed states in the world. Fox Reports that there is only a couple dozen miles of paved roads, extremely low literacy rate, and a severe lack of medical facilities.
South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar praised al-Bashir for his courage in accepting the referendum and applauded his government for being the first to recognize the South's independence.
"We do not harbor bitterness towards our former compatriots," Riek Machar, South Sudan’s Vice President said, according to AP. "We remain partners in peace and committed to the principles of good neighborliness. We must work out our differences through dialogue and in a spirit of cooperation."