Juba - South Sudan marks its first year of independence in sombre mood today, the world's youngest nation wracked by border wars with the North, internal violence and the shutdown of its vital oil production (The Telegraph).
South Sudanese celebrate the first anniversary of independence in Juba.
The early euphoria of independence from former civil war foe Sudan on July 9 2011, has since given way to a harsh reality.
While massive steps forward have been made, South Sudan remains one of the world's poorest countries, where even the most basic infrastructure, such as roads, electricity and water distribution networks, still has to be built.
Vice President Riek Machar has admitted to not having met the expectations of his people because of "the unforeseen difficulties we got ourselves into".
The United States on Sunday sent its anniversary congratulations, while admitting that "significant challenges" lie ahead.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was travelling in Asia, said in a statement that South Sudan had made strides in nation-building and on building a legal framework.