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VOA Hosting Live Coverage of S. Sudan Independence

A man holds up South Sudan's new flag as South Sudanese children rehearse their dance routine, to be performed at half time during South Sudan's national soccer team's match with Kenya as part of the independence day celebrations. Photo by Paul Banks,

Special Saturday broadcast of "South Sudan in Focus" to include swearing-in of new government, reaction from around the country.

Voice of America will provide live coverage of South Sudan’s independence celebrations on Saturday, with reports from the new country and Washington, including interviews with key leaders who have guided the historic transition.

Sudan in Focus, VOA’s popular English language radio program to the region, will be renamed South Sudan in Focus to mark the occasion.

A special live broadcast of the ceremony will include the proclamation of independence, the signing of South Sudan’s transitional constitution, the swearing-in of the new government, the playing of the new national anthem and reaction from citizens of the country.

Hundreds of foreign dignitaries, including the heads of state of 30 African countries and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, are expected to attend the ceremony.

VOA reporters in South Sudan will contribute to the special live broadcast, which will be hosted by John Tanza in Washington and Charlton Doki in Juba.

VOA broadcasts to southern Sudan on shortwave, FM affiliate stations and is streamed on the Internet. VOA language services broadcasting to neighboring countries will pre-empt regular programming to broadcast Saturday’s Independence Day ceremony.

Voice of America and fellow U.S. international broadcaster Middle East Broadcasting Network have provided extensive radio, television and Internet coverage of southern Sudan’s march toward independence.

Other U.S. international broadcasting coverage will include live reporting of the July 9th events on Alhurra TV's Arabic-language satellite broadcasts as well as expanded radio newscasts on Afia Darfur, broadcasting to Darfur and Eastern Chad.

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