A new nation for the world
A ceremony in the new capital of Juba has marked the formation of a new independent country of South Sudan after it separated from Sudan on Saturday 9th July. The country will be led by President Salva Kiir (60).
The new country is recognised as one of the poorest in the world despite having large oil reserves and faces continuing troubles with its northern neighbour, Sudan.
The ceremony was attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of 30 African countries plus other world state officials. The president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir was expected to attend as a guest of honour.
On 9th January 2005 the rebels of the People’s Liberation Army of South Sudan signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and South to end the civil war. The culmination of that agreement was a referendum in January 2011 where 98.8% of the southern people voted for independence leading to the 9th July declaration of independence.
Ban Ki-moon has said that the new country will have to tackle poverty, insecurity and a lack of infrastructure if they hope to develop. He also pointed to the need to secure an agreement on a common border; both sides signed an agreement on border security on 29th June but the arguments over Abyei still continue.
The major area of contention is the oil, most of which is sourced in South Sudan but whose access to refining and a pipeline to the outside world is through Sudan to the north.
With the problems continuing over the fluid border and the question of oil security, the United Nations Security Council agreed on Friday 8th July to put in place a new peacekeeping force which will consist of 7,000 military personnel and 900 international police.
On 13th July the Security Council is expected to approve membership to the UN and the following day the General Assembly is expected to make South Sudan its 193rd member.