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South Sudan declare independence on July 9

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South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Thu Jul 07 2011, 10:23

South Sudan declare independence on July 9


South Sudan is due to declare independence from the north on July 9, the climax of an internationally brokered peace process that ended decades of civil war between north and south Sudan.

Here are some facts about the steps on the way to statehood and some details of what will happen on independence day:

THE PEACE DEAL
■North and south Sudan fought each other for all but a few years from 1955 to 2005 in a civil war fuelled by ethnicity, religion, ideology and oil. The violence claimed an estimated 2 million lives, forced 4 million to flee and destabilised much of the region.
■The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement promised a referendum six years later, giving southerners a choice between staying united with the north or breaking away and forming their own nation. In January, more than 98 percent of southern voters chose to secede.

INDEPENDENCE DAY
■At midnight on the night of July 8, bells and drums will mark the birth of the Republic of South Sudan, say organisers.
■An independence ceremony will be held at the Garang Memorial site in the capital Juba, the burial place of former southern leader and rebel hero John Garang, who signed the peace deal with Khartoum.
■A “Proclamation of the Independence of South Sudan” will be read out by southern parliament speaker James Wani Igga at 11:45 a.m. (0845 GMT), according to the schedule. Minutes later Sudan’s national flag will be lowered and the new flag of South Sudan will be raised.
■Just after noon, according to the timetable, Kiir will sign South Sudan’s new transitional constitution into law. He is due to be sworn in for a four-year term as president of South Sudan at 12:15 p.m.
■There will be a performance of the new South Sudan national anthem, chosen from 49 entries by musicians, poets and academics. The lyrics and a recording of the song are published on the southern government’s website [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] .
■The southern government says about 3,500 guests — including kings, chiefs, southern elders from the south’s 10 states and more than 30 African heads of state — will attend. They have promised speeches from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, southern President Salva Kiir and Sudan’s President, the future leader of north Sudan, Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Bashir’s presence would be an important signal of the north’s future good intentions to the south. But it might also be an embarrassment to some dignitaries. The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for him, to face charges of war crimes in the separate Darfur conflict.
■Thousands are expected to take to the streets of the new capital, and similar celebrations will be held in all the south’s 10 states. More than 1,500 soldiers, police, firefighters and prison and wildlife service officials will march through Juba as southern army helicopters fly overhead.
■South Sudan’s new national soccer team will take on Kenya on July 10. The south’s basketball team will play Uganda on July 11.

NEW INTERNATIONAL STATUS
■The south will become the 54th country in Africa, excluding contested territories such as Western Sahara and Somaliland. Southern government officials say they will become the 193rd member of the United Nations.
■South Sudan plans to open 34 embassies and consulates around the world and may establish more than 50 over time, officials say.


Reuters

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Thu Jul 07 2011, 10:31

South Sudan: How do you set up a nation?
By Kathryn Westcott

On 9 July, the Republic of South Sudan will become the world's newest nation state, formally seceding from Sudan. But what does this involve?

Passports, currency, stamps, anthem, internet domain name - and a decent football team. These are just some of the requirements.

Then there are state institutions to be established, a constitution to draw up and an overseas charm offensive to conduct.

An aspiring nation has many things to get on with. Here are a few of them.

The Same Hymn Sheet
Have the national anthem ready before the big independence day, and ensure everyone knows the words.

In a move that said, "we believe in democracy", South Sudan's government invited everyone to try their hand at composing an anthem.

The winning entry, composed by students and teachers from Juba University, makes a break with the military-style march of Sudan's anthem.

An upbeat tune is set to three stanzas that portray trust in God, jubilation for an end to decades of oppression and commemoration of the martyrs who lost their lives for the sake of freedom.

Singers have been dispatched around the nation-to-be to ensure citizens will be word-perfect by 9 July.

One official recently pointed out that when Sudan got her independence in 1956, it took the country some time to come up with her anthem. It just shows South Sudan is ready to govern itself, he said.

Shipments of the six-coloured flag - the former emblem of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) - have been arriving from China over the past few weeks, and the government plans to raise one on top of the highest peak of the Imatong Mountains on 9 July.

Currency - faces or landmarks?
Every new nation likes to make its mark with its currency - it is a time to laud heroes and show off a nation's achievements.

Model Alek Wek is one of the most recognisable South Sudanese faces in the West. But it will be a while before the South Sudan pound is launched, as designs have not been finalised.

Members of the committee working on the design are said to have suggested that the first chairman of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the late John Garang, should appear on the currency.

However, it's reported that ordinary people expressed a preference for historical and cultural symbols. Politicians come and go, they said, but the things that truly united the southern Sudanese people were permanent.

Country-level Domain
A country can choose the day that it declares itself a new nation, but it can't choose when it will be formally accepted by the international community. Conventionally, UN members need to recognise a new state before the UN's Statistics Division will officially record the name of the country.

The new nation is then allocated country codes through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

A two-letter code identifies the country's internet domain suffix, while the three-letter codes appear on passports and define the country's currency in international markets.

New states can apply to use any of the letters from their official name.

According to the ISO's Mary Lou Pelaprat, there are a few two-letter options available, beginning with "s" - but ".sd" is already taken by Sudan, and ".su" was allocated to the Soviet Union.

"We want our domain name to be '.ss' for 'South Sudan', but people are telling us 'SS' has an association in Europe with Nazis," an official, Stephen Lugga, told Reuters.

"We have applied for it anyway."

Experts say the application is unlikely to be approved.

Please Mr Postman
Postage stamps are one of the first things produced by new countries and governments, says Geoff Anandappa, investment portfolio manager at international stamp dealer Stanley Gibbons.

For the time being, post for the south will continue to come via the north. This is important for number of reasons, including establishing a national identity and raising revenue from sales to philatelists.

In this case, stamp collectors will clearly have to wait a while. Stanley Gibbons is not aware of any new designs.

"New countries may start by producing 'provisional' stamp issues, usually locally designed and printed, and often of poor quality," says Mr Anandappa.

"These are greater interest to philatelist than the 'official' - mass produced - stamp issues which follow later. Postal history collectors are also keen to find these provisional issues used on letters, because they are often accompanied by interesting postal marking, and town date stamps."

The new nation will only be able to organise its own postal service through the Universal Postal Union (UPA) once it becomes a full member of the United Nations - and that may take some time.

For the time being, post will have to go through the Republic of Sudan via the existing service.

Putting the capital into the city
Most states dream of a modern capital. But for the moment South Sudan will need to lower its sights. The world's newest capital, Juba, is strung out along the banks of the White Nile river, lacking basic infrastructure, including reliable power, water and sewage systems.

The town, which was established almost a century ago by British colonial administrators was a government garrison town surrounded by rebels during the war. It has expanded since then and witnessed something of a construction boom.

In the past few months, the transition government has mulled over proposals to relocate the capital, to "allow for the creation of a modern city planned for 200 years with absolute flexibility to observe any population growth and technological advancements".

Earlier plans involved relocating and rebuilding the capital in the shape of a rhinoceros, as part of proposals to rebuild the region's cities in the shapes of animals and fruit.

According to experts, generally, a capital city can take 10 to 20 years to build but can take a century or more to mature into an attractive, self-sustaining place.

A sporting chance
The south's newly formed teams have been practising on simple facilities, as the football stadium and basketball court are being repaired, says the BBC's Peter Martell in Juba.

The football squad has trained among the goats on scrubby patches of grass, while the basketball team has used the netball court of a girls' primary school

But the country has high hopes, including taking part in London's 2012 Olympics.

It's hoped sport can help forge a national identity and ease the deep divisions that exist between some of the south's rival groups.

The first games are planned against the new nation's neighbours - a basketball match against Uganda, and a football game against Kenya.

With current political tensions, games against South Sudan's neighbour in the north might have to wait a little longer.


Link to BBC News

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by melbert on Thu Jul 07 2011, 13:57

Thank you Watching!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Thu Jul 07 2011, 19:16

Great thread, great info!!!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by it's me on Thu Jul 07 2011, 19:56

Thank you Smile

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 07 2011, 20:00

@watching Wonderful finds! I would love to be there during the celebrations! To sit on the sidelines and watch a birth of a nation! The jubilation and the faces! I pray that it takes them into the future with a propellant that lasts through to the indelible end. May God bless this new little Nation!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by it's me on Thu Jul 07 2011, 22:59

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

the big number is the percentage of people less than 25 yrs old

Sudan is orange: big trouble



obviously we sent the BEST WISHES TO ALL PEOPLE IN SUDAN

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Thu Jul 07 2011, 23:11

If they haven't done so already, I'm sure tomorrow is the BIG CHECK IN for all the Dignitaries and George (LOL!). JK - Saturday he is a dignitary, too.

I've been wondering if Ann Curry will be there, too. She's been a big part in the coverage the last 2-3 years. Of course, that will give US more George coverage of the Big Event!!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 07 2011, 23:17

Watching, thank you so much for this article. Lately, we get caught up in GC's personal life. It's really good to see something he invested so much time and effort along with many others, give this big step to democracy. We hope South Sudan moves forward to a positive future!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Thu Jul 07 2011, 23:26

What a surprise if Nick shows up, too!!! cheers

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by melbert on Thu Jul 07 2011, 23:31

Ann was on the Today Show this morning, and I didn't hear any mention, so I'm assuming that now that she's an anchor, she'll not go. After Nick's health issue a couple months ago, I doubt very much Nina would let him out of her sight!!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Atalante on Thu Jul 07 2011, 23:37

Knack magazine calls South-Sudan the next Somalia and warns for tribal wars and trouble with the vice-president who doesn't agree with Kiirs constitution.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 08 2011, 14:49

I will be away this weekend heading to a friend's wedding in CT. But as soon as I get back I will check the news about South Sudan! Smile.

Have a great weekend!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 08 2011, 19:17

Has anyone heard if George is on his way there or did he decide not to go?

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 08 2011, 19:51

I would imagine it'll be kept quiet if he's there.
Just hope everything is peaceful for those lovely people at last.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Fri Jul 08 2011, 19:55

Cinderella wrote:Has anyone heard if George is on his way there or did he decide not to go?
For safety reasons, nothing is ever announced until after he's arrived or after his return.

For the Election Day (and maybe the trip prior to that) was the first time we had coverage/news while he was there. Early on it was after he came home.

If NBC is there, we should again get news while he is there. Since NBC has covered he and John P, I'm sure they will show them on camera and/or interview. Just guessing though.

I'm figuring the BIG celebration will start one minute after mid-night their time.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Fri Jul 08 2011, 19:57

Okay, hope this helps every one. I picked a city/time zone that would be easy for all -


New York, New York is 7 hours behind Juba, Sudan

So, 5 PM Eastern Time Zone should be their Midnight!

Paaarteee Oooon!!!! cheers Love3 Give Flowers2 Lots of happy Blow horn

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 08 2011, 20:55

Yahoo!!! I can hear the drums beating! Superdupercool

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Fri Jul 08 2011, 21:27

Juba, the capital city of the soon-to-be Republic of South Sudan

Here's an up-to-date blog -

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 08 2011, 22:12

It's 12:15am, July 9th in Sudan! I wonder what's happening?

Thanks for the link, Sisieq!


Last edited by Cinderella on Fri Jul 08 2011, 22:18; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : correction)

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Fri Jul 08 2011, 22:34

Boss has CNN on at work, so far nothing on there.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Fri Jul 08 2011, 23:39

South Sudan becomes an independent nation
8 July 2011 Last updated at 22:24

The new state is rich in oil, but also one of the world's least developed countries

South Sudan has become the world's newest nation, the climax of a process made possible by the 2005 peace deal that ended a long and bloody civil war.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are among international dignitaries attending celebrations in the capital, Juba.

Sudan earlier became the first state to officially recognise its new neighbour.

The south's independence follows decades of conflict with the north in which some 1.5 million people died.

Celebrations in Juba began at midnight (2100 GMT). A countdown clock in the city centre reached zero and the new national anthem was played on television.

South Sudan became the 193rd country recognised by the UN and the 54th UN member state in Africa.

The BBC's Will Ross in Juba says the new country's problems are being put aside for the night, and there is an air of great jubilation.

South Sudan
Facts and figures:

Population: 7.5-9.7 million
Size: 619,745 sq km (239,285 sq miles), larger than Spain and Portugal combined
Major languages: English, Arabic (both official), Juba Arabic, Dinka
Religion: Traditional and a Christian minority
Main export: Oil
Challenges ahead:
One of world's least developed countries: Worst maternal mortality rate; most children below 13 not in school; 84% of women are illiterate

People are in the streets, cheering, waving South Sudan flags, banging drums and chanting the name of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, he adds.

A formal independence ceremony is due to be held later on Saturday.

The Speaker of the South Sudan Legislative Assembly, James Wani Igga, is expected to read out the Proclamation of the Independence of South Sudan at 1145 (0845 GMT). Minutes later Sudan's national flag will be lowered and the new flag of South Sudan will be raised.

In addition to Mr Bashir and Mr Ban, attendees will include former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the US permanent representative to the UN, Susan Rice, and the head of the US military's Africa Command, Gen Carter Ham.

Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a referendum was held on independence, which was favoured by more than 99% of voters.

The new country is rich in oil, but one of the least developed countries in the world, where one in seven children dies before the age of five.

Unresolved disputes between the north and south, particularly over the new border, have also raised the possibility of renewed conflict.

On Friday, Sudan's Minister of Presidential Affairs, Bakri Hassan Saleh, announced that it recognised "the Republic of South Sudan as an independent state, according to the borders existing on 1 January 1956", when Sudan gained independence from Britain.

'Southern brothers'

President Bashir, who agreed the 2005 peace deal with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), stressed his country's "readiness to work with our southern brothers and help them set up their state so that, God willing, this state will be stable and develop".

"The co-operation between us will be excellent, particularly when it comes to marking and preserving the border so there is a movement of citizens and goods via this border," he told journalists in Khartoum.

Fears of fresh conflict resurfaced after recent fighting in two border areas, Abyei and South Kordofan, which forced some 170,000 people from their homes.

But separate deals - and the withdrawal of rival forces from the border - have calmed tensions.

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution approving a new 7,000-strong peacekeeping force for South Sudan - but this is basically a rebranding of the force which was already in Sudan, mostly in the south.

Khartoum has said its mandate would not be renewed, leading the US to argue that the 1,000 UN troops should be allowed to remain in South Kordofan. The 1,000 troops in the disputed town of Abyei are to be replaced by 4,200 Ethiopian soldiers.

Our correspondent says keeping both the north and the south stable long after the celebratory parties have ended will be a mighty challenge.

The two sides must still decide on issues such as drawing up the new border and how to divide Sudan's debts and oil wealth.

Analysts say the priority for Khartoum will be to negotiate a favourable deal on oil revenue, as most oilfields lie in the south. At present, the revenues are being shared equally.

Khartoum has some leverage, as most of the oil pipelines flow north to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

Citizenship is also a key issue which has not yet been decided.

A new law passed by the National Assembly in Khartoum has withdrawn Sudanese citizenship from all southerners.

The UN refugee agency (UNCHR), has urged both governments to prevent statelessness.

Link to BBC News article

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Fri Jul 08 2011, 23:44

Hollywood's role in South Sudan's independence
By Leslie Goffe
BBC News, New York

The Republic of South Sudan will soon be the world's newest nation.

Its independence on Saturday will be celebrated in the United States by Republicans and by Democrats alike, and by Christian conservatives alongside Hollywood liberals.

All have been vocal advocates in the US for an end to war in Sudan that has taken millions of lives and resulted in accusations of genocide.

These advocates include actors Don Cheadle and George Clooney, known to some in the US as "Mr Sudan".

Mr Clooney, convinced by activist friends to use his star power to draw attention to the crisis in Sudan, led a rally in Washington and delivered a speech on Sudan at the United Nations in 2006.

"Everyone feels like this is one issue they can all be on the same side on, and there aren't many of those," Mr Clooney said in an interview.


On the other side, are evangelical Christians determined to stop what they claimed was the persecution and killing of Christians by Muslims from northern Sudan.

Evangelical churches began building hospitals, schools and churches in the mostly animist and Christian south in the 1990s.

In 2004, evangelical groups pressed then-President George W Bush - himself a born-again Christian - to send troops to Sudan.

The president did not go that far but he did impose tough economic sanctions on Sudan and press the Khartoum government to negotiate a peace deal with rebels in the south that was signed in 2005.

George Clooney was in South Sudan for January's independence referendum. But did the lobbying and campaigning by evangelicals and Hollywood celebrities make a difference?

A member of the Bush administration, the former ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, thinks so.

"South Sudan captured the public's imagination more than has happened elsewhere in Africa because Christians in Sudan used their grapevine to let Christians in America know that Muslims were persecuting them."

It reminded people, says Mr Campbell, "of the persecution of the Jews in the Soviet Union and elsewhere." Mr Campbell says the role celebrities played was important, too.

"Celebrities made all of this known, in their way, to ordinary people and made it part of the conversation to people who would otherwise not pay much attention to what was happening overseas."

Enoch Awejok, an official at South Sudan's embassy in Washington, also believes the lobbying and campaigning made a difference.

"Without George Clooney and the churches, the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] would not have occurred," he says.

"And they still have an effective role to play in resolving the outstanding issues in Sudan."

“I just wish people would be more open to learn about things instead of looking at because a celebrity is involved and all of a sudden people want to be involved”


Sudanese expatriates in the United States have campaigned for their country, too.

But New York-based fashion model Mari Malek, born in southern Sudan, founder of the charity Southern Sudan Initiatives, worries that without the involvement of celebrities many Americans would not have been interested in Sudan, at all.

"I just wish people would be more open to learn about things instead of looking at because a celebrity is involved and all of a sudden people want to be involved," says Ms Malek.

"I think people should be more open-minded instead of looking at it as a cool thing."

Sudan became "cool" to Americans looking for a cause to support in 2003 when the film Lost Boys of Sudan was released.

This was a documentary about the remarkable story of the hundreds of Sudanese boys who fled the civil war, walked for weeks to Ethiopia, where their refugee camps were attacked, forcing them to flee to Kenya, before they were finally allowed into the US.

The film helped make the plight of the people of Sudan known and make it a cause many Americans wanted to be involved in.

Ger Duany is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. An actor who lives now in Harlem, in New York City, Duany was featured in the Hollywood film I Heart Huckabees.

Duany says he made sure to lobby and tell his co-stars on the film - Dustin Hoffman and Mark Wahlberg - what he faced in Sudan.

"I spoke to a lot of guys and they were very supportive people, Mark Wahlberg mostly, but I think in a way more could have been done. We are not free," says Duany, who plans on being in South Sudan to celebrate its official independence on 9 July.

South Sudan has enjoyed a lot of support in the United States.

But now that it is about to achieve its independence some are concerned that Americans who campaigned and lobbied on its behalf, will find some other "cool" cause to occupy them.

If this does happen, says Ms Malek, then Sudanese expatriates in the US will do whatever they have to to ensure their new country is not forgotten.

"I think that the new generation of South Sudan people who migrated here to the USA are going to keep the momentum going," she says.

"So, with or without the celebrities, I think we are strong enough to keep pushing the momentum."

As for Mr Campbell, the former Bush administration ambassador to Nigeria, he says Americans will be content to turn their attention elsewhere if after 9 July, boundary lines between north and south are respected and there is agreement on how the oil revenue will be divided up.

If, however, says Mr Campbell, "we see the kind of bloodshed we have seen over the past several weeks then I don't think American attention or interest in Sudan and South Sudan will dissipate, at all."

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Fri Jul 08 2011, 23:48

South Sudan, the Newest Nation, Is Full of Hope and Problems


Rehearsals are under way for this weekend's independence celebrations in Juba, the capital of the new Republic of South Sudan. More Photos »

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

Published: July 7, 2011


JUBA, Sudan — After five decades of guerrilla struggle and two million lives lost, the flags are flapping proudly here in this capital. The new national anthem is blasting all over town. People are toasting oversize bottles of White Bull beer (the local brew), and children are boogieing in the streets.

“Free at Last,” reads a countdown clock.

But from the moment it declares independence on Saturday, the Republic of South Sudan, the world’s newest country and Africa’s 54th state, will take its place at the bottom of the developing world. A majority of its people live on less than a dollar a day. A 15-year-old girl has a higher chance of dying in childbirth than she does of finishing primary school. More than 10 percent of children do not make it to their fifth birthday. About three-quarters of adults cannot read. Only 1 percent of households have a bank account.

Beyond that, the nation faces several serious insurrections within its own sprawling territory and hostilities with northern Sudan, its former nemesis.

It is clearly an underdog story.

So many people here embody the distance traveled and the hopes to come. James Aguto, a former child soldier and longtime guerrilla fighter, now delivers babies. Mr. Aguto is a newly minted clinical officer, working in a government hospital, and his journey from taking life to sustaining it makes him an apt symbol for the transition this country is trying to make.

“There was one night I delivered six babies, six babies in one night!” he said. “I was so happy. I was making development here. I was showing that I had skills.”

Mr. Aguto now wants to be a doctor. “I have that spirit,” he explained.

The nation will certainly need it. More than 2,300 people have been killed in ethnic and rebel violence this year, with at least a half-dozen rebel groups, some with thousands of fighters, prowling the bush, attacking government soldiers, terrorizing civilians, and stealing cattle and even children.

The hospital where Mr. Aguto works is a case in point. In one bed lies a thin young man with a huge cast on his leg.

“Abyei,” the man grunted, referring to the disputed area on the border of northern and southern Sudan that is claimed by both sides. It is considered one of the many potential trouble spots that could plunge this region back into war. He was shot there in May, when the northern Sudanese army invaded.

Nearby is another young man, hobbling around with a walker. “Unity State,” he said. “A militia.” He was shot as well, in another tense border area.

Ethnicity is a consistent fault line here. The government is dominated by the Dinka, the biggest group in southern Sudan, and some of the toughest rebel armies are commanded by members of the Nuer, a historic rival.

“This is just tribal fighting,” Mustafa Biong Majak, a South Sudan government spokesman, said with a dismissive wave of his hand, arguing that the clashes posed no threat to stability. “Let them die.”

But many people here fear that after the glow of independence wears off, the Nuer and the Dinka, who fought viciously during the north-south civil war, will become locked in conflict again. And even within the Dinka-dominated government forces, there are deep problems.

Government troops routinely take sides in local land disputes and battles over cattle, and recently soldiers have been hijacking United Nations trucks hauling food. Hunger is yet another challenge, with more than three million people in South Sudan, nearly 40 percent of the population, needing food aid to survive.

Less than 10 miles outside the capital, in the village of Rajaf, people are fleeing the countryside because bandits are killing farmers and kidnapping children. The rule for visitors is to leave by sunset.

“There is no security here,” said Rose Bojo, a tea seller.

Insecurity is such a drain on resources that under the current budget, the government of South Sudan spends about $700 million on security-related matters — more than the budget for education, health care, electricity, roads and industry combined.

But this is also a country of obvious possibilities. South Sudan produces about 375,000 barrels of oil per day, and though negotiators are still working on the specific formula of how the two Sudans — north and south — will share the oil, the south stands to make billions from its reserves.

It has land, miles and miles of thick forests and fertile jungles, where the trees drip with vines and branches bend earthward, heavy with fruit. Still, in most villages, there is no electricity, no running water, no metal even. Barefoot boys dusted with the red dirt stirred up by passing trucks sell bottles of honey along the road. The South Sudan government says 83 percent of its people live in thatched-roof huts, a legacy of decades of marginalization.

Even before Sudan declared independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956, southerners were clamoring for more rights and complaining about being treated as second-class citizens.

South Sudan is mostly animist and Christian, culturally more akin to sub-Saharan Africa than northern Sudan, which is predominantly Muslim and dominated by Arabs. Southern rebels fought for years against the central government, and in 2005 the Bush administration helped broker a treaty between the sides that granted the south wide autonomy and the right to secede.

This January, southerners voted by nearly 99 percent to form their own country, which is what will officially happen on Saturday in festivities to be attended by high-ranking Western officials and more than a dozen African leaders.

Some of the expected guests, like President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and President Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea, are cautionary tales of what can happen when guerrilla leaders finally take power. Zimbabwe and Eritrea are considered among the most repressive countries in the world. But South Sudanese officials say that they are aware of the pitfalls, and that their government will be different.

“If we had wanted to, we could have declared a five-year transition period from the beginning,” said Mr. Majak, the government spokesman. “But no, we didn’t do that. We held elections.”

For the past six years, the southern Sudanese have essentially been running their own affairs, policing themselves, patrolling their borders, and wooing investment and development aid. International aid organizations are still going to play a crucial role here, especially in health and education. For example, Mr. Aguto, the bush fighter turned clinical officer, was trained by Amref, an aid group. He is now looking for sponsors to pay for medical school so he can become a pediatrician.

“South Sudan started from zero,” he said. “Why shouldn’t we be able to transform?”


Josh Kron contributed reporting.
New York Times article

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Fri Jul 08 2011, 23:53

Because I thought this tweet was cute

thisway2sanjose: South Sudan is the world's newest country. George Clooney is having an orgasm no sultry Italian bartender can ever give him. #southsudan about 1 hour ago via web · Reply · View Tweet

but the Nestle milk issue hasn't been forgotten:

@makesmilk Emma Pickett
Apparently George Clooney is a key figure in brokering a peace in Sudan. Has genuine political influence. Ethics don't extend to ad work? 35 minutes ago

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Sat Jul 09 2011, 00:11

watching, I'm confused - will George be at the Celebration Saturday in Washington, DC or South Sudan?

Sadly, I forgot all about Don Chedel, glad he's there, too!!!!

Edited to add: I know I speak for all of us, watching, thanks for all your research and posting here and keeping us updated!!!! cheers

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 09 2011, 00:58

sisieq wrote:
I know I speak for all of us, watching, thanks for all your research and posting here and keeping us updated!!!!

Yes, thank you very much!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 09 2011, 02:50

Thanks everyone!!! Smile

This is what I found before I rest to my friend's big day! Sorry if someone already posted it!

News Analysis
Sudan Movement’s Mission Is Secured: StatehoodBy JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
Published: July 8, 2011

JUBA, Sudan — On the desk in his office in Juba, the capital of what will soon be the world’s newest country, R. Barrie Walkley, the American consul general, has a telling picture. It is of him and George Clooney shaking hands in a crowd during the independence referendum here in southern Sudan in January.
Multimedia The World's Newest Nation
The World's Newest NationClose VideoSee More Videos » .Related in Opinion
Editorial: The New State of South Sudan (July 9, 2011) The photograph offers a unique window into what is happening now. American celebrities and religious groups teamed up with policy makers and helped a forlorn underdog region finally achieve what very few separatist movements achieve: independence. On Saturday, after decades of guerrilla struggles and intense international pressure, the Republic of South Sudan will officially split off from the north and become Africa’s 54th country.

“Once you got someone like George Clooney, for example....” Mr. Walkley trails off with a smile. “George packs power.”
Sudan has been an obsession for the West for more than 100 years, and it is an interesting question why, of all the world’s war zones and all the blood baths Africa has witnessed — Liberia, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, to name a few — this place has grabbed so much attention.

On Friday, last-minute preparations were being made for an expected deluge of high-powered guests including Colin L. Powell and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Juba’s streets were coursing with soldiers in red berets. Work crews were putting fences up and applying final coats of paint. Throngs of young people marched down the road in impromptu parades. Passing drivers honked gleefully and pumped their fists in the air, in solidarity.

“In the coming hours,” said Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s information minister, “we will bear witness to the passage of history and the transformation of the map of Africa.”

John Voll, a professor of Islamic history at Georgetown University, said one reason Sudan has attracted so much attention over the years is that its internal conflicts were easily reduced by outsiders to Manichaean absolutes of oppressed Africans, many of them Christians, getting crushed by Arabs, “with echoes of the Crusades.”

Sudan — or soon, the two Sudans — is a vast, complex place with a dizzying amount of diversity. Before Saturday’s breakup, Sudan was the biggest country, geographically, in Africa. But it also has an unusually clear fault line, reinforced by the British colonizers, with the southern part mostly animist and Christian and the north mostly Muslim and long dominated by Arabs. A huge swamp, the Sudd, roughly separates the two, and in the 19th century, Western missionaries began to champion the southern Sudanese cause.

“Long before there was such a thing as secular human rights groups or a United Nations, missionaries rallied behind Sudan’s suffering,” said Eliza Griswold, author of “The Tenth Parallel,” a book on the line of latitude that roughly separates the Muslim and Christian worlds in Africa and Asia.

In 2001, Christian groups found a friend in the White House. The administration of George W. Bush pushed southern rebels, who had been fighting for self-determination for decades, and Sudan’s central government to sign a comprehensive peace agreement in 2005, which guaranteed the southerners the right to secede.

But this policy success — which Bush officials consider one of their top achievements, and may be one reason that Mr. Powell, Mr. Bush’s first secretary of state, was expected here on Saturday — was soon overshadowed by the crisis in Darfur. That conflict became the focus of one of the biggest humanitarian advocacy projects since the Live Aid benefit concert in 1985 raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Ethiopian famine victims.

Darfur, in western Sudan, exploded in 2003 after rebels attacked government forces and the government responded by arming Arab militias that burned villages, massacred civilians and drove more than two million people off their land.

Just about everyone in Darfur is Muslim, so looking at this internal conflict through the Crusades lens did not really apply. But an even more powerful way of presenting the violence emerged: many called it genocide.

“This gave the Darfur cause a distinctiveness that could gain real support,” Professor Voll said. “There were few other conflicts at that time that could so easily be called ‘genocidal,’ even though the conflicts in Congo were, and are, more destructive.”

Aid groups estimate that more than 5 million people have died in Congo as a result of the continuing conflict there, compared with around 300,000 who may have died of conflict-related causes in Darfur.

But the reference to “genocide” gave Darfur added urgency; once it was branded as such, there was a widespread sense that something had to be done. Movie stars soon became engrossed, including Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Mia Farrow (who has frequently traveled in Africa with American officials) and Mr. Clooney, who is now helping to pay for a satellite to monitor parts of Sudan.
There was a relationship between two seminal events in Sudan: the explosion of violence in Darfur and the end of the decades-long war in the south. Many Sudan analysts have said that Darfur — and all the attention it was getting — was the added pressure that finally pushed the Sudanese government, facing an international public relations disaster, to sign the treaty in 2005 that gave the southerners just about all they wanted.

This past January, Sudan’s division became a fait accompli when southerners voted in a referendum, by 98.8 percent, to secede. In the months leading to the vote, celebrities like Mr. Clooney urged the Obama administration to stay focused on Sudan.

“Would this have taken place without celebrities?” Mr. Walkley, the consul general, asked. “I think the celebrities had a lot to do with it.”

Celebrities, he said, “focus attention on a problem. They do it in a bumper sticker fashion, perhaps,” but “if you get millions of people sending blogs to the president, that will have an impact.”

But in Darfur, Western advocates may have complicated matters, too, some analysts contend, pushing a hard line against the government that has made the rebels there more intransigent and peace negotiations more difficult.

Mr. Clooney, who got malaria the last time he was in Sudan, was not expected for the festivities on Saturday. But religious groups will be represented. The only nongovernment employee in President Obama’s official delegation to Juba besides Mr. Powell is Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services.
Josh Kron contributed reporting.

A version of this news analysis appeared in print on July 9, 2011, on page A7 of the New York edition with the headline: Movement’s Mission Is Secured: Statehood..Sign In to E-Mail
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/09/world/africa/09sudan.html


Last edited by LouisLane on Sat Jul 09 2011, 03:08; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added info)

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by melbert on Sat Jul 09 2011, 04:06

Watching and LL, THANK YOU!!!!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Sat Jul 09 2011, 09:09

Tweets. No idea if he is there, on his way or not attending (considering the event won't be about him). No idea if these people tweeting are correct, wrong or delusional. Just thought I would post to add to the conversation.

@Georgejobi: It's amazing to see Clooney's smile over the new South Sudan. Where is Cheadle?http://y.ahoo.it/WcMqrJvr about 2 hours ago via Yahoo! · Reply · View Tweet

Tinekeceelen : Wrong wrong plan .... @ Femke Halsema Luyten @ @ liavanbekhoven Clooney is tomorrow in Juba . Hopefully shakes @ arch sailor him on? about 11 hours ago via TweetDeck · Reply · View Tweet

My guess, if anyone cares, is he is there or on the way. If he was not going to attend or be a part of the week of celebrations, I think he would have issued a press release acknowledging South Sudan's new independence. That would also ensure media coverage. The other factor which is outside he control is whether they let him into the country - there have been more than a few negative George comments by officals reported by the media in relation to the 'pap' satellite. His visa and access may have been revoked by the interim govt.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Sat Jul 09 2011, 09:24

UN involvement.....

A fragile start to a divided Sudan
Mike Pflanz July 9, 2011 .

JUBA, South Sudan: The United Nations is expected to approve a fresh force of international peacekeepers to protect South Sudan, the world's newest nation, which will need years of help to prevent it falling into chaos and becoming a failed state.

The UN Security Council was to vote yesterday on sending up to 7000 armed blue berets to the Republic of South Sudan, which wins independence from its former enemy Sudan at noon today.

The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has recommended that the new mission should focus on protecting civilians – with force if necessary – and on reforms to the police, army and justice systems.

With southern Sudan set to declare its independence on Saturday, it faces several serious insurrections within its own sprawling territory and hostilities with northern Sudan, its former nemesis.

There are fears that from its outset, the world's 193rd country will be unable to police its territory, guard its borders or protect its 8 million citizens.

Sudan's majority Christian south fought its Muslim north for 38 of its 54 years of independence from Britain, and the hangover of that war is almost a million guns, mostly in civilian hands.

The southern army, born from the rebel force which fought the war, is bloated with troops and drains as much as 60 per cent of South Sudan's annual budget.

One diplomat in Juba quipped that it was "in essence the state's welfare system".

The police force, provincial administration, courts and tax systems are, at best, stumbling, raising the risk of widening public anger among a population expecting an instant windfall from independence.

"We need to be modest in managing the expectations of what South Sudan can achieve, and how quickly," said George Conway, the deputy head of the UN Development Program's office in Juba, South Sudan's capital.

In reality, the Republic of South Sudan will from its first days easily fulfil most requirements of a failed state.

Separated from the more advanced north, it will also immediately knock Zimbabwe off the bottom spot on the index of human development.

At least 80 per cent of the population is illiterate – rising to 92per cent for women – the majority of public servants did not finish secondary school and there are estimated to be fewer than 500 doctors in a country the size of France.

A 15-year-old girl is statistically more likely to die in childbirth than she is to finish school. "It's fair to say that these are political and security challenges that would tax even the most developed countries," said a senior Western diplomat in Juba.

Key planks in the peace deal have still not been secured. There is no agreement on sharing oil, which lies mostly under southern soil, but must be refined and exported through the north.

It is unclear how foreign debts, borrowed when Sudan was unified, will be repaid once it splits.

Of most concern is the border. Its precise route has not yet been decided. Already Omar al-Bashir, the President in the north, is accused of supporting loyal militia in the south to raise rebellion, especially in the oil-rich Abyei state.

Tens of thousands of northern civilians are still fleeing south after repeated bombing raids against them by the Sudan Air Force, under the instructions of Mr Bashir, who is already wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

SMH link

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by watching on Sat Jul 09 2011, 09:36

Australia is helping out.

Australia gives $16 million to newest nation, Republic of South Sudan From: AAP July 09, 2011 3:47PM

THE Australian government will give the world's newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan, $16 million over two years to deliver basic services. South Sudan declared its independence on Saturday after a referendum in January.

"Australia will shortly establish diplomatic relations with South Sudan," Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd said in a joint statement.

"Working with the international community, Australia stands ready to support the people of South Sudan and Sudan build a viable and secure future."

The $16 million will go towards services such as education, maternal health and sanitation.

Australia has a large South Sudanese community and is home to the largest Sudanese voting site outside of Africa.

Link

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Ello on Sat Jul 09 2011, 12:28

The very best of luck to the people of South Sudan, congratulations on their hard won victory and let's give them the support they need to build a free, prosperous and peaceful nation. Enjoy the celebrations for a wonderful achievement!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by melbert on Sat Jul 09 2011, 14:32

Thanks Watching!

Ditto Ello!!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by lucy on Sat Jul 09 2011, 14:47

Ditto-Ditto, Ello,and Watching!!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Sat Jul 09 2011, 23:18

Ello wrote:The very best of luck to the people of South Sudan, congratulations on their hard won victory and let's give them the support they need to build a free, prosperous and peaceful nation. Enjoy the celebrations for a wonderful achievement!
Thumbs up!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by it's me on Sat Jul 09 2011, 23:56

Enoch Awejok, an official at South Sudan's embassy in Washington, also believes the lobbying and campaigning made a difference.

"Without George Clooney and the churches, the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] would not have occurred," he says.

cheers

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 11 2011, 01:16

I am reading everything now, Smile. Congrats South Sudan!

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by sisieq on Mon Jul 11 2011, 01:18

I take it John P wasn't there either?? Maybe we'll learn more when he writes an article.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by melbert on Mon Jul 11 2011, 02:13

I haven't heard anything about whether they are there or not. Maybe they are just laying low, filming something on their own and will release when they come home? I am sure they didn't want any limelight - this is South Sudan's moment.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 11 2011, 03:31

By IKRAM AL YACOUB
Al Arabiya
“It’s a brighter spot in the history of Sudan,” says George Clooney, who has been personally engaged with Sudan for several years. “I’ve been committed to Sudan since 2005, and you don’t abandon a place when it’s going through its changes.”

Mr. Clooney has used his star power to draw attention to the crisis in Sudan, and even led a rally in Washington and delivered a speech in support of his cause at the United Nations in 2006.


After decades of civil war with the north, South Sudan has finally gained its independence, leaving behind disputes of ethnicity and religion. The events in Sudan are being perceived as a milestone in a region that has been battling its own body for so long, and we are all celebrating its birth.

We just want to let it go, a friend of mine said; it has been a burden on our shoulders for so long, and the solution they came up with was the right one.

My question, though, is whether South Sudan would have gained its independence and captured the public imagination without the help of Christians in United States, and Mr. Clooney?

Indeed, many analysts reported that without the involvement of Mr. Clooney and the US churches a comprehensive peace agreement would not have been possible.

I can’t deny the power that celebrities have, but I hope we will enter an era in which people became involved in issues because they matter, and need resolutions, and not just because a famous person is involved.
Mabrook to the new Sudans!

(Ikram Al Yacoub, a Web TV producer at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: Ikram.yacoub@mbc.net)

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/07/10/156978.html

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by melbert on Tue Jul 12 2011, 01:53

So do we know if he was there or not?

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by lucy on Tue Jul 12 2011, 04:09

Although I'am anxious to see him on film or photos, it's nice to know that John and George are there for the historical moment not for the personal attention. Gotta love them for that, it's a classy move.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by fluffy on Tue Jul 12 2011, 08:57

I'm not sure that they are there this time. I checked the New York Times, and there was no mention yesterday, so it makes me think they didn't go. Maybe with all things considered, safety and that Gee's busy, maybe it just wasn't possible to squeeze it all in??

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by cindigirl on Tue Jul 12 2011, 13:55

Sudan was a cause that nearly took over his life in the past few years and now that the BIG DAY has arrived he blows it off? Doesn't make a particle of sense to me.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

Post by Katiedot on Tue Jul 12 2011, 13:59

If - and this is only an if at this stage - he's not there, then there'll be a very good reason for it.

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Re: South Sudan declare independence on July 9

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