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1st Lead South Sudan becomes 206th member nation of the IOC

Germany
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Kuala Lumpur (dpa) - South Sudan on Sunday became the newest country to join the International Olympic Committee (IOC), following a unanimous vote by the global sporting body‘s members.

Wilson Deng Kuoirot, president of the National Olympic Committee of South Sudan, expressed hope the entry of his strife-torn country in the IOC would jump start reconciliation.

"This historic day of our acceptance into the IOC is going to be a milestone.for promoting reconciliation, national unity, peace building and development within the community of our young nation," he said.

"It will also give great hope and inspiration to the youth of our country," he added. "We commit to uphold the Olympic values of tolerance, acceptance, respect and friendship as we strive to build our young nation of South Sudan."

Thomas Bach, IOC president congratulated South Sudan for becoming the IOC‘s 206th member.

"On behalf of all the IOC members and the Olympic movement, I would like to officially welcome the newest member of our Olympic family, the national Olympic committee of South Sudan," he said.

Bach thanked the Sudanese National Olympic Committee, who have played a key role in helping its South Sudanese neighbour get the IOC recognition.

"It demonstrates what autonomy of sports from politics really means, because despite the political dispute between Sudan and South Sudan you have worked together," he said.

"We look forward to welcoming you to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where for the first time in your history, you will march behind your national flag," Bach added. "This will put your nation on the world map."

South Sudan, with a population of over 8 million people, split from Sudan and became independent in 2011.

But in December 2013 a political power struggle broke up between its two most powerful leaders, plunging the young country into civil war, displacing more than 2 million people.

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