Published: Jul 14, 2011 6:23 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 14, 2011 5:23 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United Nations has a new member - South Sudan.

The African nation, which gained independence Saturday, became the U.N.'s 193rd member by acclamation Thursday.

General Assembly President Joseph Deiss banged a gavel signifying South Sudan's admission to the world body as diplomats burst into applause.

The country's independence was the climax of a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war with the Arab-dominated north and called for a referendum in which South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for secession.

After the vote, the flag of South Sudan was raised outside U.N. headquarters to more applause.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)