A rebellion is spreading in South Sudan in the aftermath of a referendum held in Jan. 2011. The outcome of the vote lead to the break-up of Africa's largest geographic nation-state. The independence of the south took place on July 9, 2011., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Africa’s Largest Nation Splits into Two
Sunday, July 10 @ 00:20:00 UTC
Republic of South Sudan Officially Hoists Flag, Kiir Sworn in as First President
By Mona Albashir
Khartoum – Africa’s largest country has split into two with the birth of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) on July 9 2011 in the capital Juba amidst a large number of the world’s most prominent leaders, on top of them President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan.
The flag of the new nation was hoisted, in the centre of Garang's mausoleum, at the same time the Sudanese flag was brought down to half masts, indicating the dawn of the new nation. The ceremony also saw, Leut. Gen. Silva Kiir Mayardit sworn as the country’s first president and President Al Bashir addressed the crowds.
Up to 30 heads of African states witnessed the official announcement of the Africa’s 54th state, which was made by James Wani; the President of the Legislative Council of the Republic of South Sudan.
Speaking to the hundreds of thousands of southern citizens who came out to mark the occasion, Wani said, "We hereby, as elected representatives of the people of South Sudan, and based on their free will, as has been loudly demonstrated during the self determination referendum, proclaim the South of Sudan to become an independent state of sovereignty."
Wani added that his council acclaimed the independence, perceiving it to be the will of all citizens, as the majority decided to vote for in the self determination referendum, back in January, ‘Therefore, we will go on in establishing our state, a state that would respect the diversity and human rights, atop which comes the democracy, as much as it would contribute to the stability of the region and the peaceful resolution of disputes.’
He added, "The Republic of South Sudan pledges to uphold fraternity good neighborhood relations with all nations, including the Republic of Sudan," indicating to the firm ties between the two nations.
Parliament speaker added that their new born country shall respect the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity of its citizens, indicating that the coexistence of such a diverse society, would add much to the region as whole, as he praised the deceased leader "John Garang", lauding the 1st president of the Republic; Kiir, together with President Al Bashir, saying "The people of the south holds great expectations to the government, therefore certain challenges have to be overcome, in order to be able to erect our country".
Moreover, out of respect of the new nation, president Albashir addressed the celebration, reaffirming his government's support to the new nation, saying "We are to devote all of our experiences, for the good of the new nation" indicating that the prosperity of South Sudan, infers a similar success in the North, highlighting that the free will of the people of South Sudan should be respected, and that he still believes in the unity of Sudan, and that it was the best choice for both people, stressing on that positive neighborhood relations should be maintained, and that both people have a common task; to build a mutual confidence.
Al Bashir announced that expiry of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), expressing his gratitude towards their efforts, as he urged President Obama to honor his commitments, pertained to the alleviation of the sanctions imposed upon Sudan, adding ‘Sudan has proved its support to global peace and security several times,’ summoning the people of both nations to burry their grudges and to forsake the culture of hatred, in order to overcome the bitterness of the past, and to turn over a new leaf on the relations between the two people.
President Silva Kiir Mayardit, affirmed that ‘We bear some of the responsibility of the prolonged agony of the south, the reason being that we invited our enemies to help us kill ourselves’ adding, ‘Let that day be a day for love and forgiveness, and let our cultural diversity be the backbone of our nation, since we are all Sudanese, though we have to keep in mind that we are Southern Sudanese.’
Kiir lauded the nations that kept supporting his nation, ‘If it wasn't for you, we would have never witnessed that day", moreover, he stressed on that ‘The republic of South Sudan is economically backwards, though we sought to change that’, indicating "our government has an obligation towards the coming generations, to capacitate them to face these challenges, starting form this very day", he added "we have to build our government on solid foundations, the people should recognize that our resources are limited, therefore, therefore, our performance as a government should be out of sincerity and mighty will".
Silva added "As we approach the inauguration of our country as the 54th African state, and the 193rd to join the UN, we pledge to honor all international concords" affirming that "the people of South Sudan would never be tainted with being an aggressive people or a troublemaker, we have known what it is like to be a refugee, therefore, we hope that we have put an end to the last war in our history"
Kiir also announced a general amnesty, for everyone who had ever raised an arm against the south, calling on them to come join the reconstruction of the nation.
He concluded his speech saying "Meanwhile we celebrate our independence, I would like to convey a message to the people of Abyei, South Kurdufan and Darfur, that their assistance would never go unrecognized, your blood is our blood, your tears are our tears, and I will personally, in collaboration with brother Al Bashir see to that, no matter how long the dark prevailed, but it will certainly be down eventually, I can see the light through the tunnel, let us celebrate that day, as long as we intend to start working by the first hours of the next morning, a stable South Sudan requires a stable region.
Riek Machar; The First Vise President of the Government of the new state, lauded the crucial role, played by Al Bashir towards the achievement of peace in Sudan, having supervised the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), he said "Al Bashir is a courageous leader and a very vigilant observer, which enabled him to see the CPA trough, having stamped his fingerprint on the history of the Sudan, as one of the best leaders of Sudan".