Discuss as:

Last few licks of paint as South Sudan prepares for independence

Reuters reports from JUBA, Sudan:

Southern Sudanese in the country-in-waiting's capital are sprucing up streets, confiscating black market guns and trying to impose order on frenetic traffic to make sure independence day goes smoothly on Saturday.

For many southerners, the split from the country's north represents a moment of long-awaited triumph and fresh optimism after decades of brutal civil war and perceived marginalization. Continue reading.

 

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

South Sudanese workers paint metal rods on July 7 as they prepare the grounds in Juba where the main independence celebrations will take place when South Sudan secedes from the north and becomes the world's newest nation on July 9.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

South Sudanese workers install a tent in Juba on July 7.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

South Sudanese workers clean a street in Juba on July 7.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

South Sudanese workers clean a platform at the John Garang mausoleum in Juba on July 7.

Related content:

PhotoBlog: The world's biggest village prepares to become a capital city

PhotoBlog: More images from Sudan, north and south

'Lost boys' pin hopes on independent South Sudan

Video: Sudanese 'Lost boy' embraces his new nation:

Sudanese Lost Boy Mawut Mayen talks about his life in America and what the new nation of South Sudan means to him.