On July 9, 2011, the nation of South Sudan was officially created. Officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, it is recognized by 193 members of the United Nations, making South Sudan the 55th nation on the continent of Africa.
President Barack Obama, in recognizing the new government of South Sudan, gave the following press release:
The White House
Statement of President Barack Obama Recognition of the Republic of South Sudan
“Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible. A proud flag flies over Juba and the map of the world has been redrawn. These symbols speak to the blood that has been spilled, the tears that have been shed, the ballots that have been cast, and the hopes that have been realized by so many millions of people. The eyes of the world are on the Republic of South Sudan. And we know that southern Sudanese have claimed their sovereignty, and shown that neither their dignity nor their dream of self-determination can be denied.
Decades ago, Martin Luther King reflected on the first moment of independence on the African continent in Ghana, saying, “I knew about all of the struggles, and all of the pain, and all of the agony that these people had gone through for this moment.” Today, we are moved by the story of struggle that led to this time of hope in South Sudan, and we think of those who didn’t live to see their dream realized. Now, the leaders and people of South Sudan have an opportunity to turn this moment of promise into lasting progress. The United States will continue to support the aspirations of all Sudanese. Together, we can ensure that today marks another step forward in Africa’s long journey toward opportunity, democracy and justice.”
The five decades long civil war that tore apart the nation of Sudan, and caused the loss of life in over two and a half million lives, has created not one but two nations. South Sudan, a landlocked country, is bordered on the east by Ethiopia, on the southeast by Kenya, on the southwest by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the south by Uganda, on the west by Central African Republic, and on the north by its former northern half–the nation of Sudan, and the disputed territory of Darfur. South Sudan’s capital is Juba (located in the southern state of Central Equatoria), while Khartoum is the capital of Sudan.
In the future, I was going to post on the nation of Sudan in one of my “The Flags of Africa” posts, but, with this new development, I will be posting not on one nation, but on two.
Right now, the technology to manufacture oil in refineries lies in the north, in Sudan, and the deposits of oil lie in the south, in South Sudan, which means that oil must travel out of South Sudan to reach the world markets; oil which will provide 98% of South Sudan’s revenue. The area of the Abeyei region, on South Sudan’s northern border, is also in dispute.
Not to be forgotten, is the deadly violence that women still face in South Sudan. The transgressions against human rights for women must be addressed and the new government must bring the perpetrators to justice in a world court, where rape and homicide against women and girls has been tolerated, a legacy from Sudan’s brutal civil war.
I wish this nation of South Sudan well, especially her people who have suffered through so much: the Dinka, Acholi, Lotuhu, Nuer, Shilluk, and the Nuba (who reside mainly in the area located centrally in the country formally known as Sudan. The nation lacks many infrastructures that a developing new nation needs: a high literacy rate, paved roads, health care, strong economy, job and trade skills to sell marketable goods to the world, and viable education.
How life will be for those living in South Sudan remains to be seen, but, many people across the world are praying for the best for South Sudan. The citizens of the is new nation themselves certainly are looking forward to a new, better, and prosperous nation.
Here is a video on the United Nations welcoming the Republic of South Sudan into the UN. (Video courtesy of Al Jazeera)