Sudanese soldier
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South Sudan independence: What you need to know

7 July 2011 Last updated at 11:46 BST

South Sudan is set to gain independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 peace deal that ended Africa's longest running civil war.

Hassan Arouni, senior journalist for the BBC African Services, explains the importance of the division of Africa's biggest country in two.