South Sudan Admitted Into the African Union

Southern Sudan has been officially admitted to the African Union, becoming the 54th member country.

The Addis Ababa-headquartered organisation Wednesday said it had accepted an official request for membership from the Southern Sudan Government.

The membership is in line with the AU’s constitutive act, the organisation said in a statement, adding that the decision had been circulated to all member states and international organisations.

An official welcoming ceremony will be held as soon as possible in consultation with Juba, it further said. South Sudan’s flag has already been hoisted at the AU’s compound to recognise the newly-born member state.

Southern Sudan declared independence on July 9 following a week-long referendum in January that overwhelmingly voted for secession from the North.

In the last 20 years eastern Africa has given birth to two new nations–Southern Sudan and Eritrea.

The United Nations had earlier accepted Southern Sudan as its 194th member state.