The first baby said to be born in the new country of South Sudan has a fitting name:  Independent.

The boy was born close to midnight local time in the new capital, Juba.

As revellers ushered in South Sudan's independence — dancing and partying on the streets outside — the mother lay on a hospital bed next to her swaddled child.

"Really there is not any other name to give, as today is Independence Day," said the woman, who television network Al Arabiya identified as Josephine Alphanes. 

"People suffered for so many years — so today God didn't forget us for our suffering. That's why I called him Independent."

After decades of civil war between northern and southern Sudan, a peace deal was brokered in 2005. South Sudan chose separation in a January referendum and officially declared its independence Saturday.