30 July 2011
13 July 2011
08 July 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen…..
In a matter of hours, The Republic of South Sudan will become the 196th nation in the world, and the 55th country in Africa. In a matter of hours, July 9th will dawn and South Sudan will celebrate it’s Independence Day, just 5 days after we celebrated the anniversary of our own country’s Independence Day here in the US.
How in the world do you start a new country?!?! This is my question. Luckily this is not my job and there are people who think about these things for a living J And, luckily these folks share their thoughts in layman’s terms in publicly accessible forums like the internet!
Karen Masso recently posted the following link to the website of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS). Here, if you have questions like I do, you’ll find all kind of information, including a helpful summary of what comes next – “What’s next for the new country.”
Here’s a few tidbits from that document:
· Background: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005) brought an end to 21 years of civil war in Sudan and decades of struggle between the northern and southern parts of the country – this Agreement established the opportunity for a Referendum (January 2011) giving the South the chance to vote whether to remain part of Sudan or secede and become their own country. The vote was deemed open and fair and was overwhelmingly in favor of secession – 98.83%.
· His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit will be sworn in as president of the new Republic of South Sudan. (That’s him in the cowboy hat – evidently the hat is his trademark). He has been First Vice President of Sudan since Aug. 2005.
· The flag of the new Republic will be the flag which has represented the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (which during the war fought against northern Sudan for the South)
· The new currency – South Sudan Pound – will be put into circulation in coming months.
· South Sudan is not starting from scratch. For the past six years, the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) has enjoyed considerable autonomy, with an elected Assembly, Government and a functioning judicial system.
· South Sudan is comprised of 10 States, each with their own Governor.
· The official language of South Sudan will change from English AND Arabic, to only English.
· Southern Sudanese Assembly members currently in the Government of National Unity in Khartoum will leave their posts and join the South Sudan Legislative Assembly in Juba.
· The Government is committed to the concept of soft borders with the North, allowing freedom of movement for pastoralists and traders who regularly traverse the North-South boundaries.
· Some critical issues in the CPA remain unresolved such as the final status of Abyei, arrangements for the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and the demarcation of the North/South Border. These issues are still subject to negotiation, with the support of international mediators such as the African Union High Implementation Panel.
Teammates have said today feels like Christmas Eve in South Sudan, celebratory festivities in preparation, and excitement is in the air!
Please join us in praying for South Sudan! Praying for joyous and peaceful celebrations tomorrow, for peaceful and just finalization of border issues still in negotiations, and for this process to lead to the flourishing of the people of South Sudan.