Southern Sudan; The Newest Baby in Africa
Shouts of jubilation and joy were a typical replica through out the towns and villages of Southern Sudan. ‘’We have indeed gained our liberty, we have suffered so much and even though we must start from scratch it is worthy,’’ says Madik a former Sudanese student in Kenya.
‘’Southern Sudan hooey! Southern Sudan hooey!’’ amidst replies of jubilant chants of hooey!!! Hooey!’’ Was this the only characteristic climax of the celebration for the people of Southern Sudan? You got it all wrong if you did not stick your neck and glue your eyes on a television set. In fact, all that I saw was nothing less than a consistent climax of the African millennium.
It was more than you could imagine, marked with pomp and color all day and night, through out the previous and preceding weeks. ‘What amazed me most is the energetic gigs reminisced only in places like ‘carnivore or hot dancing spots here in Nairobi especially when that hot ‘celebrity’ is spotted and performing in town.
Though most of our African nations went through this momentous experience in the early 60s and afterwards, ‘we are not left behind in feeling the terrific and welcoming birth of this a new nation’. 9th of July marked the beginning of the nation of Southern Sudan.
Southern Sudan now becomes a republic and a recognized State Internationally. Most African and European States showed solidarity with Southern Sudan as it declared its independence. It was a fanfare of sorts, with a 21 salute gunshots similar to the one Kenya experienced last year during the promulgation of its new constitution.
Southern Sudan and its History;
Southern Sudan has its capital city in Juba. The population is estimated to be about 8milion but with a high mortality rate. It is located in a vast swamp region of the Sudd formed by the White Nile River. It was part of the Republic of Sudan which got its independence in 1956.
Southern Sudan became an autonomous region in 1972 after an up rise of the 1st Civil war which lasted until 1983. The 2nd Civil war sprung out which led to a Comprehensive Peace agreement of 2005.
Southern Sudan held its first referendum in January 2011that saw its separation from the Republic of Sudan. John Garang was the 1st President of the autonomous Southern Sudan until his death on 30th July 2005.
He was succeeded by Salva Mayardit Kiir as the President of the autonomous Southern Sudan and Riek Machar taking over the vice presidency. On 9th July 2011, Salva Kiir becomes the first President of the new Republic of Southern Sudan. So where is Omar Al Bashir in the picture?
We can simply say that it was not his day. Did he contribute positively or negatively in this struggle?
Southern Sudan and its interim constitution;
Wait a minute my friend, did this guys borrow something from Kenya’s system? Parliament in Juba burned the mid night oil in a session that passed the required Constitution, that would govern the new country for the next 4 years from the day of independence. This will guide the country of Southern Sudan before a new consultative constitution is developed. Don’t you see some similarity?
Surprisingly, some analysts in Southern Sudan claim that the constitution gives the president absolute power and that there is a possibility that Salva bulldozed it to favor himself. Hope he did not learn this from Kenyans.
It will be interesting to see how the values of liberty and prosperity will be achieved after allegations that SPLM intelligence were involved in harassing the opposition leader Mr. Onyoti Adigo for distributing congratulatory leaflets.
Southern Sudan and the economy;
It might be a tough and rocky mountain to climb for the new Southern Sudan government as they grapple on how to handle economic related issues and diplomatic approaches. Possibility of the foreign currency to be scarce is so real.
Southern Sudan majorly exports timber. It has a wealth of natural resources which include petroleum, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, and hydro power.
Southern Sudan also relies on Agriculture to boost its economy. They produce crops like cotton, peanuts, sorghum, millet, wheat, gum Arabic, sugarcane, cassava, mango, papaya and bananas.
Oil has been one instrumental product that has given Southern Sudan a clean bill of health with the existence of oil fields in the south.
However, this pause a great challenge between the governments of the republic of Sudan and Southern Sudan. They have to brave the challenge by negotiating since they both shared most of the resources in the South.
Southern Sudan and the visibility of Religion and Education;
Like any nation in the world religion and education are key influence rs of any meaningful socio-economic growth and development of any society.
Southern Sudan is influenced by largely Christianity with the existence of Catholics and Anglicans taking the largest portion. Indigenous/traditional religion known as Animist is also present, while traces of Islam are visible in some regions.
Education is boosted by the existence of the Catholic University of Juba and the University of Juba which are key institutions of higher learning.
The idea of many countrymen affected by joblessness is so high, that it will ignite the leadership into considering not having a honey moon, at least for now.
Southern Sudan and international relations
On the positive, Southern Sudan is on the brink of becoming a member of some of the most important institutions of the world, this include ; the African Union (AU) as the 54th member state, the Arab league and the UN are planning to vote it as the 193rd member state.
In essence, majority of the world’s important and influential nations have recognized and promised to work with the government of Southern Sudan to help it in its initial stages of growth and development.
We can only wish well this new born state of the republic of Southern Sudan. Southern Sudan hooey!