The final results of Sudan's landmark referendum showed on Monday the south had voted overwhelmingly for secession from the north.
After independence an interim government will be installed, a new constitution written and eventually elections held. But tribal divisions and different political ideologies could hamper progress.
Other outstanding issues to resolve include the contested region of Abeyei, border demarcation and oil sharing.
Meanwhile, people have high expectations. Access to water, education and health care are just some of the priorities.
Salva Kiir, Southern Sudan's president, has just returned home promising to work with his northern counterpart, Omar al-Bashir.
Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Juba in Southern Sudan.
Source: Al Jazeera