9 July 2011
Last updated at 22:13
South Sudan officially became the world's newest nation at a ceremony of independence in the capital, Juba, attended by international dignitaries and tens of thousands of people.
Before the celebrations began, a man skipped for joy at the empty grounds where the ceremony was to be held next to the the mausoleum of the late John Garang, the rebel leader who led the South Sudanese during the two-decade long civil war.
Later in the morning, tens of thousands of South Sudanese gathered to witness the formal birth of their nation in Juba, some climbing up trees to get a good view of the events. They waited for hours in the baking heat for the ceremony to start.
Some dressed up for the celebration. This man painted the flag of the new country - the former emblem of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) - on his head.
SPLA soldiers wounded in the civil war, in which some 1.5 million died, marched in a parade as part of the events to mark the historic day.
After the parliamentary speaker read the formal declaration of independence of South Sudan, people were emotional as they watched the new country's giant flag being raised as that of Sudan was lowered.
The crowd also sang the new national anthem, which has been blaring for weeks on South Sudanese radio for people to learn the words.
Salva Kiir (L) took the oath of office as South Sudan's president. Next to him stood his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir (R), who later told the crowd: "The will of the people of the south has to be respected."
Mr Kiir then held aloft the newly signed constitution to the new citizens of South Sudan.
South Sudanese military officers cheer as a new nation comes into existence.
During the ceremony, a statue of John Garang was unveiled. Mr Garang died in a helicopter crash within months of signing the 2005 peace deal with the north and is regarded as the father of South Sudan.
Earlier, a female priest blessed a child before the statue. Under the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a referendum was to be held on independence for the south. In January the vote overwhelmingly favoured a split from the north.
The new country of South Sudan is rich in oil, but is also one of the least developed countries in the world because of the years of conflict.
Festivities in Khartoum were more low key, but here members of the Platform of Peace and Justice perform with swords to celebrate the secession.