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South Sudan is free at last . . .

Updated: 2018-01-15T17:32:27.631+01:00


A sad day in Abyei


Within weeks of their deployment, four Ethiopian UN Peacekeepers had died in a landmine explosion in Abyei. It marked the beginning of a long struggle for the peacekeepers. This had occured in an area controlled by Khartoum armed forces.

In the world today where countries had signed to the Ottawa Protocol banning the use of landmines, Sudan has indescriminately planted thousands of mines in Abyei after their occupation. It was in complete desregard to international law.

Sudan had signed the treaty banning the use of landmines. The UN must summon the Sudanese Ambassador and condemn the use of these landmines. This has added more to the woes of Khartoum, and Bashir is going to pay one day . . .

Condolence to Ethiopia, president and people . . .

Peace in Darfur?


Darfur Peace Agreement signed? Why am I having this feeling that Sudan had been there before . . .

A deja vu . . .

How the Arab World lost Southern Sudan


This article by Lamis Andoni shed light on some of the most critical issues facing the Arab governement: their failures to embrace diversity in the region.

The division of Sudan into two states is a dangerous precedent. The Arab world has to draw the right lessons from if it wants to avoid the break-up of other Arab states into ethnic and sectarian enclaves.

The birth of South Sudan is first and foremost a testimony to the failure of the official Arab order, pan-Arabism, and especially the Islamic political projects to provide civic and equal rights to ethnic and religious minorities in the Arab world.

Read here from Al Jazeera

Security Council Recommends Recognition of South Sudan


Things are moving very fast for the new nation. The UN Security Council has recommended to the General Assembly the recognition of South Sudan as an Independent State.

World leaders queue to gree the South Sudan Vice President Dr Riak Machar at the Security Council Meeting.


New Currency Out: The South Sudan Pound



Free at last: South Sudan is Independent!


9 July 2011 - In his inaugural speech as the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit today urged South Sudanese to make their cultural and ethnic diversities a source of pride and strength, not conflict.Speaking after he swore an oath as president of Africa’s newest state, Mr. Kiir said the emerging republic would promote security, justice, liberty and prosperity.“In order to develop our country and deliver on the important aspects of our national development plan, it is critical that we must wipe out corruption,” he said.Government dignitaries present at the event included Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Legislative Assembly Speaker James Wani Igga, President of the Supreme Court Justice John Wol Makec and the widow of Dr John Garang de Mabior, Rebecca de Mabior.Also attending the celebration were hundreds of foreign heads of state and regional organizations, including the European Union, League of Arab Nations, Inter- Governmental Authority on Development and African Union.Other dignitaries included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN General Assembly President Joseph Deiss.“Today, we open a new chapter – a day when the people of South Sudan claim the freedom and dignity that are their birthright,” Mr. Ban told the gathering.“Together, we welcome the Republic of South Sudan to the community of nations,” he added. “Together, we affirm our commitment to helping it meet its many responsibilities as a nation.”Proclaiming the independence of South Sudan, Mr. Wani declared, “We, the democratically elected representatives of the people, based on the will of the people of South Sudan, and as confirmed by the outcome of the referendum of self-determination, hereby declare South Sudan to be an independent and sovereign nation.”Emotions ran high as the Republic of Sudan’s flag was lowered and that of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) was raised for the first time. The RoSS flag was the same one used during the liberation struggle by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army.“My husband was the first person to raise this flag in Boma Mountain in 1990. I was really touched when this flag was lifted up,” said Bonguot Amum, government Chief Whip and Chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Caucus in the South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA).“Though he is dead, I am very happy for the total freedom and liberation of South Sudanese. I want to see united South Sudanese, development, equality, transparency and accountability to our people,” said Ms. Amum.As the country’s first President, Mr. Kiir signed the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan and then took his oath.Calling on disputing Ethiopia and Eritrea and war-torn Somalia to find peace, President Kiir promised troubled states of Sudan that they would not be forgotten.“I want to assure the people of Abyei, Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile that we have not forgotten you. When you cry, we cry; when you bleed, we also bleed,” he said.The atmosphere of the event was punctuated by ululations and the sound of trumpets, with many eager participants pushing to reach the front to view visiting dignitaries.People waved RoSS flags and many wore jackets bearing its colours, despite the intense heat. Several youth had even shaved their hair off and painted their heads with the flag’s colours.As crowd members witnessed the new nation being born, their comments were various.“I have waited … for this day to come” said 24-year-old University of Juba student Stephen Kuong. “Now that freedom is here I can celebrate … We have been deprived of freedom for long.”Some, like 50-year-old Mary Keji, were purely interested in witnessing the event. “I came here at 6.00 this morning because I want to (see) the declaration of South Sudan as a nation. This is what I have been waiting to see in my li[...]

NCP dirty politics continue . . .


I have been away for long time and many things have happened:

a) SPLA officers defecting
b) Elections in Kadugli rigged in favour of a wanted criminal
c) NCP blocking food supply to South Sudan

All these the work of the NCP. I wonder what else the NCP have up their dirty sleeves. The only thing we know is that they are angry that South Sudanese have rejected to be slaves forever.

If they are using it as bargaining tactics over Abyei, we shall see in the near future.

Bashir accepts referendum results . . .


The Sudanese President Omar el Bashir has accepted the final results of the Southern Sudan Referendum. Southern Sudanese have overwhelmingly voted for seccession in the January 9th - 15th plebiscite. That is one hurdle overcome, as the country comes face to face with a split.

What remains is the post seccession issues that must be dealth with as soon as possible.

Turabi in trouble, again


The Islamist leader of the Popular Congress Party, Hassan el Turabi is arrested in Khartoum, again.

Has the crack down on opposition started or it is a kneejerk response to his call for uprising. The next few weeks and months will say . .

Referendum on Al Jazeera TV Website


(image) The Al Jazeera TV Website has a wide coverage of the Southern Sudan Referendum. The reports are generally good, comprehensive and balanced, although occasionally they tend to focused more on the underdevelopment and fear of violence, more than the dream of the Southern Sudanese quest for independence and freedom. I guess like most of the Arab World, Al Jazeera stands behind unity of the country.

Now that the threshold of 60% has been reached, there is no turning back. Southern Sudan has worked out of the Arab World. No more Arab League etc.

Black going its separate way



A separatist's voice in the North


As the world sees the likely break up of the country, a Party in the north is celebrating the vent, calling the South Sudan a "cancer that must be cut off". That is the .Justice and Peace Forum Party. That has always been their stand in the Al Intibaha newspaper.

However, some parties are criticising them for celebrating!

The birth of a nation



And the new country shall be called . . .


As the referendum for independence kicks off to a jubilant start, with thousands of people turning up to vote in the historic event, the search will soon start for the name of the soon to be born new Country.

Southern Sudan now has a flag and a national anthem. What is left is the name and that will complete the transformation from a region to a country, Africas' 53rd.

Name have been floated ever since the dream about an independent South Sudan started. Names like South Sudan, New Sudan, Kush, Juwama (formed from two letters of each main towns of Juba, Wau and malakal) and event Nile Republic, there is no definite consensus yet. The debate will definitely become intense in the coming months.

It would be good to stake claim to the name Sudan, by adding "New" or "South" to it. The name, meaning "Bilad as Sudan" or "Land of the Black". Many of the people of Northern Sudan are Arabs, not blacks. It suits the people of Southern Sudan more than them. That is, if the Darfurians and the Nubas will not raised hell as well!

The arguements for most of the proposed names are easy, but sometimes quite silly. I have read many articles that proposed many of the names above, but the most plausible arguement for Nile Republic or State of the Nile comes from this article. Some quotes are needed here.

At one point, he (Prof Ali Mazrui) pondered why there was no country in the Nile River basin that bears the name of this great river, best known as the longest river in the world.

He cited examples around the world and in Africa where countries got their names from the rivers that passed through them. Examples in Africa include: Zambia and Zimbabwe, from the Zambezi River; The Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, from Congo River; the Republic of Senegal, from the Senegal River, Niger and Nigeria from the River Niger, etc. He reminded his audience that he expected to see a new country emerging on the Nile when Southern Sudanese vote in their referendum in January 2011, and wondered if that was an opportunity for the ancient river.I could not believe my ears because that is the deafening fact that Southern Sudanese need to hear.

This was quite an eye opener. Coul it be the answer?

President Kiir votes for freedom!



Sudan: Post-Referendum Scenarios and the Way Forward”


The CSIS Africa Program cordially invites you to attend:

Sudan: Post-Referendum Scenarios and the Way Forward

With:Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director, International Crisis Group

Fouad Hikmat, African Union and Sudan Special Advisor, International Crisis Group

Moderated by:Jennifer Cooke, Director, CSIS Africa Program

Monday, January 10, 2011 8:30am - 10:00am
B1 Conference Room A/B
CSIS 1800 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20006

A day after the people of Southern Sudan begin voting on whether to remain in Sudan or become an independent nation, International Crisis Group's new Africa Program Director, Comfort Ero, and its AU and Sudan Special Advisor, Fouad Hikmat, will discuss the post-referendum challenges, the role of regional leaders, and expectations for the final six months of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Follow event live below.

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Center for Strategic and International Studies - CSIS

D-Day: Vote for Separation is here!


The day and hour is finally here! Thousands of Southern Sudanese are flocking to polling stations to decide the fate of their region!

Independence oyee!

Count down to referendum and Khartoum tactics


The referendum for South Sudan independence is fast approaching and Khartoum is panicking. It is currently using all it has to either stop the plebiscite or disrupt it.

The recent complain at the Constitutional court is one of them. Saying that the referendum register should have been done before three months as per CPA and therefor the referendum is illegal is flawed. NCP is trying one of its last arsenals. The whole CPA was delayed tactically by the NCP. Going by that reasonging, even the census was illegal, the election was illegal and many others. There was no parliamentary debate to amend the dates, which was not necessary as per the CPA because it gave the Presidency to decide the most appropriate time. These challenges will fail.

NCP panic and propaganda tactics


All signs are that the NCP is panicking ahead of the referendum for South Sudan secession in January. The various statements coming from the NCP is a clear sign that they have failed to convince the South about unity and are now using blame tactics to deflect the blame for the upcoming secession of the South.

The following were some of the points and events:
1. Bombing south Sudan territory twice
2. Claiming that South Sudan is supporting the JEM rebels in Darfur
3. Claiming that the SPLM is preparing to topple the government in Khartoum

The claims are as baseless and ridiculous as the people who uttered them. I leave the first two to you but claiming that the SPLM want to attack the north and topple the government is more that ridiculous, but utterly bizarre. The ultimate question: what does the South want from the North if it is preparing to have its own country? Does this statement make any sense at all?

The NCP is uttering these statements to convince the poor northern streets and turn them against the southerners in the north. It is a clear strategy to prepare the minds of the northerners against the southerners, if they secede.
Salva promise not to carry reprisal attacks after the air raid is a blow to the NCP desire. Those who concocted this plan will cower in shame.

South Sudan will retaliate through the ballot, by voting overwhelmingly for separation.

Referendum voter registration begins!


Voter registration for the referendum has started today all over Sudan. Although the Chairman of the Referendum Commission complained of lack of money, the process is already kicking off.

For many people it is the culmination of many years of waiting and hoping that it will happend. The fact that the registration has started will calm some fears about whether the exercise will ever happen.

There is a long way to go. There could still be hook ups. The SPLM has accused the NCP of planning to register foreigners with forged documents. The trick is that, when the day comes to vote, they will not be eligible, thus bringing the turn out below 60 %!

The NCP can play tricks so that the outcome of the vote comes out in their favour. Everyone knows that. That is why, the SPLM urges people NOT to register outside the country.

Referendum symbols out!


The symbols for the referendum are out: a waving hand for separation and joint hands for unity.


Pressing the north to let the south go


Sudan and Bashir in trouble! The pressure is mounting to ensure that the referendum for independence goes ahead as planned:

THE American administration is pressing Omar al-Bashir’s Sudanese government in Khartoum to let the southern bit of his country become peacefully independent after a referendum due there on January 9th, when an overwhelming majority of southerners is expected to plump for secession.
To help him out . . .

John Kerry, chairman of the American Senate’s foreign relations committee, recently flew to Khartoum with an offer from President Barack Obama: ensure a decent referendum in South Sudan and abide by its result and you will no longer be labelled a state sponsor of terror.
Let us wait and see how Bashir will choose.

The Economist

Southern Sudan: A Shaky Peace


The November issue of the National Geographic Magazine has an extensive article on Southern Sudan. It followed the story of Logocho. An excerpt from the opening paragraph reads:
One day some years ago, before the latest civil war began in earnest, a Sudanese boy named Logocho peeked into the entry of his family's grass hut. His father sprang out and grabbed him, and then, with an older boy, pinned him in the dirt.

A strange boy, Logocho. Above him, his father's shoulders and chest rippled with welted tribal scars. A Morse code of dots and dashes crossed the father's face and forehead, signaling to any potential cattle raiders—the Dinka, the Nuer—that he, as a Murle, would defend his stock with spear, knife, fists, and teeth.

The article went on to an analysis of the problems that lead to the war and the peace, which is threatened by the upcoming referendum. Another excerpt:
The origin of tensions in Sudan is so geographic, so stark, you could see it even from the surface of the moon. The broad ivory of the Sahara in Africa's north set against the green savanna and jungles of the continent's narrowing center. A great, grass-stained tusk. Populations generally fall to one side or the other of that vegetative divide. Which side, north or south, largely defines the culture—religion, music, dress, language—of the people there. Sudan straddles that line to include arid desert in its north and grasslands and tropical rain forests in its south, and the estranged cultures on either side.

In Sudan, Arabs and black Africans had met with a clash. Islamic conquerors in the seventh century discovered that many inhabitants of the land then called Nubia were already Christian. The Nubians fought them to a stalemate that lasted more than a millennium, until the Ottoman governor based in Cairo invaded, exploiting the land south of Egypt as a reservoir of ivory and humans. In 1820 he enslaved 30,000 people known as Sudan, which meant simply "blacks."

Eventually global distaste for slavery put the slave traders out of business. The Ottomans retreated in the early 1880s, and in 1899, after a brief period of independence for Sudan, the British took control, ruling its two halves as distinct regions. They couldn't garrison all of Sudan—it's a massive country, ten times as big as the United Kingdom—so they ruled from Khartoum and gave limited powers to tribal leaders in the provinces. Meanwhile, they encouraged Islam and Arabic in the north and Christianity and English in the south. Putting effort and resources into the north, they left the south to languish. The question all this raises is: Why? Why was a single Sudan created at all?

Why indeed! Read the full article HERE and see some of the photos HERE.
Source: November 2010 Issue, National Geographic Magazine