Search engine giant Google has recognized South Sudan as an independent nation in its map applications.
The move follows a public outcry from South Sudanese journalist John Tanza Mabusu. Mabusu launched an online petition, which got 1,600 backers, informing websites including Microsoft, Yahoo! and National Geographic that his country was missing. The African nation gained its independence and was officially recognized by the U.N. in July following decades of bloodshed that has left an estimated two million people dead.
"The inclusion of South Sudan will give the people of that new nation pride and a sense of belonging, as citizens of a sovereign nation on the map," Mabusu told BBC news. "I'm hoping that now that Google has officially recognized South Sudan on their maps, the other major online mapping services will quickly follow suit."
A Google search of Sudan yields a map depicting the clearly defined borders of South Sudan. It was not announced if this was in response to Mabusu's call. Search engine Bing’s map of Sudan does not yet have the Sudanese border marked, although its information on the South's capital city of Juba indicates it is part of South Sudan.