South Sudan to open embassies in 21 countries after gaining independence

South Sudan plans to open its embassies in 21 countries, including in Israel, after it officially gains independence in early July, a source in the South Sudanese government said.

The list of countries, where South Sudan plans to open its diplomatic missions, includes leading European Union states such as Italy, France and Germany. The list also includes Britain, the United States and Israel.

The new country, however, has not yet announced its plans to open embassies in Russia and China.

South Sudan has been formally seeking independence since it concluded a peace deal with the north in 2005, ending two decades of civil war in the impoverished northeast African nation. In February, the region voted to become a separate state.

South Sudan will officially become the Africa’s 53rd state on July 9 after a five-month transition period under the peace agreement.

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