On 9th July, 2011 there was great jubilation in Mother Africa’s latest child. And why not? Amid this jubilation, South Sudan was becoming the world’s newest State, formally seceding from Sudan to attain independence in the culmination of a United Nations-facilitated peace process that ended decades of conflict.
The huge crowd that gathered in capital Juba to witness the independence ceremony erupted in loud cheers and ululations as the Sudanese flag was lowered for the last time and the new colours of the Republic of South Sudan were hoisted, following which Salva Kiir Mayardit took the oath of office as President and signed a new interim constitution.
In a referendum held earlier this year, Southern Sudanese overwhelmingly voted for independence, the culmination of a six-year peace process that ended two decades of civil war between north and south.
South Sudan, the world’s 193rd nation, is enormously rich in terms of natural resources, and with 95 per cent of the population dependent on them for survival, it has huge potential for sustainable growth through agriculture.
For even in the absence of conflict, the children of South Sudan face significant challenges. One child in nine still dies before reaching the age of five. Hundreds of thousands are deprived of their right to an education, to adequate health care and other critical services. Many are still displaced and at risk.
Now, the country needs citizen focus development policies and not expensive cars and lifestyle. What professional help you can supply them to help build strong institutions!
Greater Voice brings a photo feature, courtesy UN/World Bank.
They have resolved to overcome the past and face the future with a renewed sense of purpose: A related Al Jazeera story with video.