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Newest nation - South Sudan is the newest nation!

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Paash, Jul 9, 2011.

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  1. Paash

    Paash Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Juba is abuzz. As South Sudan prepares to declare independence on July 9, the capital city of the world’s newest nation is busy dressing up for a three-day celebration.

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    Workers armed with brooms made of reeds wage a losing battle against the dust that coats everything in this city. The new nation’s flags festoon the streets. And banners emblazoned with congratulatory messages decorate the city’s streets, many of them little more than rutty mud tracks.

    A digital clock in the middle of a traffic circle in downtown Juba counts down the hours to independence. "Free at last!" it flashed. "Welcome to Africa's country No. 54."

    Security is a major concern in this post-conflict nation in which rebels are still fighting in nine of the 10 states. Officials have begun confiscating illegal weapons from residents, many of whom are former rebels who fought the northern Sudanese army.

    Southern officials and Western organisations accuse the government of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of arming some of the rebels. Some acknowledge that tribal rivalry and disenchantment with the government is also a factor. Southern Sudan’s Internal Affairs Minister Maj Gen Gier Chuang Aluong told journalists that the "enemies" of the state were working to destabilise the south. "They want to portray South Sudan as a failed state even before take-off," he said.

    Southerners voted overwhelmingly in a referendum in January to secede from the north. But there are many post-referendum issues that still need to be worked out between north and south Sudan.

    When Sudan Prez will meet his detractors Prominent among them are the fate of the oil-rich region of Abyei that straddles the internal border and is claimed by both sides, and the sharing of oil revenue. Most of the oil fields are located in the south, however, the pipelines that pump the oil to the Red Sea port of Port Sudan are all located in the north. Officials from the north and the south are engaged in intense discussions in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to resolve these outstanding issues. However, southern officials told The Tribune a solution before July 9 is unlikely.

    “These post-referendum issues will become post-independence issues,†Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s Minister of Information, said in an interview.

    Acknowledging the tremendous challenges faced by the new country, he said: “South Sudan is bigger than Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi combined. It has been destroyed over 50 years of war and so it is a real ground zero, and to have a ground zero of this size means that there are many challenges in infrastructure and development.â€

    Two decades of north-south civil war that ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 left at least two million people dead.

    On Wednesday night, the legislative assembly approved a transitional constitution after a marathon debate that wrapped up just shy of midnight. Government critics, including some in the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), have expressed concern about the disproportionate powers vested in the office of the president. Vice-President Riek Machar has been a leading critic in particular citing the authority given to the President to dismiss state governors at whim. Others criticise the power to appoint 66 members of the president's choosing to the legislative body, which is already dominated by the SPLM. To some, the inclusion of these powers are ominous portents of one-party dominance on a continent that is no stranger to strongmen.

    Despite these concerns, Southern Sudanese are in a mood to celebrate. At midnight on Friday, as the date switches over to July 9, the joyous sounds of church bells, drum beats and ululating women will resound across Juba.

    The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Main News

    South Sudan is born amidst hopes and turmoil

    The newest country of the world has joined the comity of nations today, amidst ecstatic but chaotic celebrations in the capital Juba. Citizens of South Sudan have every reason to be in raptures: their dream has come true after two decades of north-south civil war that left at least two million people dead.

    Now that the culmination of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 is finally a reality, Africa’s country number 54 – which happens to be bigger than Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi combined – hopes to cash in on its immense natural wealth. It produces about 375,000 barrels of oil per day, a bounty which can generate billions a year, provided it can tap the resource in peace, which is at a premium.

    President Salva Kiir has got on his head a crown which comes equipped with thorns. Rebels are still fighting in nine of the 10 states. North Sudan is still smarting over the loss of this oil-rich region and is likely to do all in its powers to bleed it to the extent possible. The Muslim north has been in conflict with the majority Christian south for decades and the animosity is unlikely to end even with separation. The pipelines through which its oil goes to the Red Sea port of Port Sudan are located in the north.

    The lack of infrastructure in the riot-ravaged South Sudan is appalling. The whole country of eight million boasts of only 50 km of paved roads. A majority of its people live on less than a dollar a day. It will require a lot of international help to come to grips with these harsh realities. The US and China are stepping up their presence in a big way. Perhaps India, from whose Constitution South Sudan has borrowed some features, would also be following in their footsteps. India’s first Election Commissioner Sukumar Sen had conducted elections in undivided Sudan nearly 60 years ago. This time Mr Sandeep Shastri, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore’s Jain University, is one of the experts who helped draft the statute of the country.

    The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions
     
  2. Kronus

    Kronus Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    New Nation! Wow! How did this come about? Lets hope that this new nation will not fall into the hands of corrupt administrators like most of the African nations.
     
  3. Kronus

    Kronus Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    A party in South Sudan; world leaders at ceremony

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    South Sudanese citizens, international dignitaries and the world’s newest president convened in the new country capital of Juba on Saturday to celebrate the birth of a nation.

    South Sudan became the world’s newest country Saturday with a raucous street party at midnight.

    Later, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and dozens of other world leaders will watch under a blazing sun as South Sudan President Salva Kiir hosts a noon-hour ceremony.

    “Wow, this is a great day for me because it’s a day that reflects the suffering that all southerners have had for almost 50 years,” said David Aleu, a 24-year-old medical student.

    The black African tribes of South Sudan and the mainly Arab north battled two civil wars over more than five decades, and some 2 million died in the latest war, from 1983-2005. It culminated in a 2005 peace deal that led to Saturday’s independence declaration.

    Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, the former leader of the south, is also to attend Saturday’s ceremony.

    Thousands of South Sudanese poured into the ceremonial arena when gates opened. Traditional dancers drummed in the streets as residents waved tiny flags. Activists from the western Sudan region of Darfur, which has suffered heavy violence the past decades, held up a sign that said “Bashir is wanted dead or alive.” Mr. Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur.

    “We came to say welcome to our brothers from the south. We came also to remind the world that the problem in Darfur is continuing,” said Nimir Mohammed.

    South Sudan is expected to become the 193rd country recognized by the United Nations next week and the 54th U.N. member state in Africa.

    Though Saturday is a day of celebration, residents of South Sudan must soon face many challenges. Their country is oil-rich but is one of the poorest and least-developed on Earth. Unresolved problems between the south and its former foe to the north could mean new conflict along the new international border, advocates and diplomats warn.

    Violence has broken out in the contested border region of Abyei in recent weeks, and fighting is ongoing in Southern Kordofan, a state that lies in Sudan -- not South Sudan -- but which has many residents loyal to the south. The 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) north-south border is disputed in five areas, several of which are being illegally occupied by either northern or southern troops.

    The young government faces the huge challenge of reforming its bloated and often predatory army, diversifying its oil-based economy, and deciding how political power will be distributed among the dozens of ethnic and military factions. It must also begin delivering basic needs such as education, health services, water and electricity to its more than 8 million citizens.

    While South Sudan is now expected to control of more than 75 percent of what was Sudan’s daily oil production, it has no refineries and southern oil must flow through the north’s pipelines to reach market.

    But for Saturday, at least, those problems lay on the back burner. Smiles, singing and dancing instead took precedence.

    Adut Monica Joseph waited for the ceremony with her sister and uncle as world leaders arrived. She said she looked forward to a day when women in South Sudan don’t face the hardships they have in recent decades. The risk to the mother of death during child birth is extremely high in the poor and underdeveloped rural south.

    “I’m very grateful to see many people from other countries,” said the 22-year-old. “I’m appreciating that they have come to celebrate with us. I hope when we have independence we shall have freedom and education for women.”
     
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