National flag (center) of South Sudan flies at United Nations Headquarters on Thursday following the country's admission as the 193rd Member State. [Photo/ Courtesy UN]
South Sudan celebrates its one-year anniversary as an independent nation.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement was intended to end the second Sudanese civil war, develop democratic governance, and force the sharing of oil revenues on an equitable basis.
Today once more, jubilation and a sense of possibility prevail.
9 July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest independent state. After a difficult birth, borne out of decades-long conflict and immeasurable suffering, the nation celebrates its first birthday today.
To mark its birth, the South Sudan President Salva Kiir said
“Today was the most important day of the people of South Sudan; it will be a day that will be engraved in our hearts and minds. Today is a day to salute our martyrs, heroes and heroines whose blood has cemented the foundation of our nation. We will do everything for the families of the fallen heroes.
Kiir used the occasion to call upon all his people, to be committed to what lay ahead for them. He called for forgiveness and reconciliation among as they enter into a new beginning of governance with the immense richness of their diversity to save the mother land.
“You might be a Dinka …. But remember you are the South Sudanese best. Let all the citizens be equal before the law and get equal responsibilities,” Said the president adding that, “This nation shall strive to live in peace.”He did not fall short of mentioning the challenge ahead and urged the leaders to focus on development that had the public interest at heart noting that, service delivery as the biggest challenge facing them.
Kiir further said that his government will not tolerant those derailing development. "My government will not entertain anti-reformers."
We will be a responsible member of the international community. The people of South Sudan will never allow to be categorized as trouble makers. We have experienced as to what it is to be a refugee, those who flee to our country we shall welcome them and accord them respect as a sign to say thank you.
“We have to focus on economic development ...” said the president. We have to exploit all the possibilities in human capital development; we shall not shy away in seeking outside support when in need.We must redouble our efforts in reinforcing our governance institutions; the key strategy is the notion of entrepreneurship as the new development concept to create meaningful economic growth as we seek foreign partnerships. That is a critical process.
He assured “The People of the Blue Nile, South Kordofan: "We have not forgotten you. When you cry, we cry."
President of Sudan, Omar Hassan El Bashir the president of the Republic of Sudan, reiterated his commitment in completing negotiation on unresolved North –South issues.
Bashir said: "We have a joint and continuing responsibility to build and strengthen confidence to complete the agreement on outstanding issues."
However, in as much as he congratulated the South for the new found independence, on achieving “dream of independence” he still believed unity would have been better for both people.
"We share their joy and celebration," he said. "The will of the people of the south has to be respected."
Bashir expressed his optimism that that the new nation would be a success as it looks forward in their journey for nation building.
Subsequently, he called upon the Obama government to fulfill its promise to normalize its relations now Sudan has facilitated and accepted independence.
The American government pledged their support in rebuilding the nation according to a statement from the White House.
“As Southern Sudanese undertake the hard work of building their new country, the United States pledges our partnership as they seek the security, development and responsive governance that can fulfill their aspirations and respect their human rights.”
US president Barrack Obama in his statement, he said that meaningful development would only be gained if only they looked beyond their past.
“As today also marks the creation of two new neighbors, South Sudan and Sudan, both peoples must recognize that they will be more secure and prosperous if they move beyond a bitter past and resolve differences peacefully. Lasting peace will only be realized if all sides fulfill their responsibilities. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement must be fully implemented, the status of Abyei must be resolved through negotiations, and violence and intimidation in Southern Kordofan, especially by the Government of Sudan, must end. The safety of all Sudanese, especially minorities, must be protected. Through courage and hard choices, this can be the beginning of a new chapter of greater peace and justice for all of the Sudanese people.”
As the nation marked its first ever independence, Kenya played an important role in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the two nations now a critical role to play to ensure their commitment to ensuring peace and stability in Sudan.
The CPA provided for a new national constitution and outlined new measures for sharing power, distributing wealth, and providing security in the country. The distribution of seats in the central parliament was satisfactorily negotiated, even in three areas disputed between the north and the south. Offices of state were allocated between the signatories, and agreement was reached on the sharing of oil revenues.
Under the CPA three sensitive border areas were given special status. The disputed Abyei border region was to be jointly administered by northern and southern Sudanese state governments until its final status could be determined in a referendum scheduled to coincide with the vote on southern independence.
The Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, though in the north, saw much of the fighting during the war and were home to many who fought on the side of the south, creating a set of circumstances not found in other northern states.
This is what the US government terms as:
“Lasting peace will only be realized if all sides fulfill their responsibilities. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement must be fully implemented, the status of Abyei must be resolved through negotiations, and violence and intimidation in Southern Kordofan, especially by the Government of Sudan, must end. The safety of all Sudanese, especially minorities, must be protected. Through courage and hard choices, this can be the beginning of a new chapter of greater peace and justice for all of the Sudanese people.”