JUBA - South Sudan has appointed its first ambassador to the United Nations, bolstering a small and inexperienced diplomatic corps which has been struggling to make the new nation's case in disputes with Sudan over oil and the shared border.

South Sudan seceded from its northern neighbor in July last year under a 2005 peace deal, and has been trying to build up state institutions after decades of devastating civil war.

Nearly a year after declaring independence, Juba had only managed to set up about half of the 22 embassies it set as its initial goal, the foreign minister told Reuters in June.

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