“JUSTICE, EQUALITY, DIGNITY”

The late John Garang spearheaded the struggle of South Sudan. © Akim Mugisa

As the new nation of South Sudan is born, it takes as its motto “Justice, Equality, and Dignity.” But let us not forget:

The country’s turbulent history has been marked by political divisions and bloody conflict, leading to the loss of millions of lives and untold numbers of people wounded, among them child soldiers. Millions of others were forced to flee their homes during renewed clashes that continue today.

After a series of negotiations and short-lived accords that culminated in the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, Southern Sudanese voted overwhelmingly to secede from the north in January. The referendum, a provision of the peace deal, sealed South Sudan’s independence, which takes effect on 9 July.  (by  Akim Mugisa in SudanVotes)

Congratulations! May your motto be realized in the lives of Southern Sudanese, both in country and in the Disapora.

THE DAY HAS ARRIVED!

The celebration starts in Juba

South Sudan became the world’s newest nation early Saturday, officially breaking away from Sudan after two civil wars over five decades that cost the lives of millions.

In the new country’s capital, Juba, streets pulsed with excitement. Residents danced, banged on jerry cans and chanted the name of the world’s newest president, Salva Kiir. One man kneeled and kissed the ground as a group ran through the streets singing “We will never, never, never surrender.”

The Republic of South Sudan earned independence at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, breaking Africa’s largest country in two. It marked the culmination of a January independence vote, which was guaranteed in a 2005 peace deal that ended the most recent north-south war.

South Sudan is expected to become the 193rd country recognized by the United Nations next week and the 54th U.N. member state in Africa.

Later Saturday, world leaders will attend a celebratory ceremony. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon already has arrived. Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell also will attend, as will Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, whose country already has recognized South Sudan.

South Sudan is expected to become the 193rd country recognized by the United Nations next week and the 54th U.N. member state in Africa.

Later Saturday, world leaders will attend a celebratory ceremony. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon already has arrived. Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell also will attend, as will Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, whose country already has recognized South Sudan.

Note: Watch for more news later today!

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