Sudan: Southerners get new assembly
The establishment of the new parliament constitutes a milestone in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed on 9 January by the Sudanese government and the former southern rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).
It also represents an important step in fulfilling the southerners' aspirations for greater political autonomy and the decentralisation of power, for which the SPLM/A fought during a 21-year war that claimed two million lives.
"This is clearly a significant and historic moment. This is what people have been waiting for since the signing of the CPA, and probably for the past 20 years," David Gressly, the UN deputy resident and humanitarian coordinator for southern Sudan, told IRIN at the ceremony.
Photo: A small child plays with a stick as if it was a rifle while a group of townspeople train to bolster the local security presence in south Sudan – a region where genocide has occurred, according to the U.S. and many human rights organizations.
[Image courtesy Ryan Spencer Reed. Information on Reed's "Hands of a Displaced Sudan" photo exhibit in Jackson will be available at the Sep 30 MSU teach-in that wants mid-Michiganians to understand the scale of the Darfur tragedy. See article at Michigan State University Newsroom: Darfur teach-in features firsthand accounts from Sudan]
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