CHICAGO (WBBM) – A new nation has joined the world community. South Sudan raised its flag today after the speaker of the legislature made a formal proclamation of independence from Sudan.

Along Chicago’s Lakefront, dozens marched and rallied in celebration of this historic day.

“They are dancing in the streets back home,” said Steven Manyok, who was born in Sudan and just graduated from Southern Illinois University.

He says he came to Chicago to celebrate with his fellow countrymen and women.

“We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” Manyok said.

Manyok’s family still lives in the new South Sudan.

“They are dancing, I couldn’t even understand what they were saying because they were just screaming,” he said.

Manyok calls Independence day a first step but says there are still no roads, hospitals, or any form of agriculture so the new nation needs help from the international community.

“It has a lot to be done nowadays so we begging for the West and our friends who are in America, Europe and Australia. We are begging for help for construction of our country.”

The black African tribes of South Sudan and the mainly Arab north battled two civil wars over more than five decades that left millions dead. A peace deal was struck six years ago, leading to the independence declaration.

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