Sunday, October 09, 2011

South Sudan adopts the English language - Taban Lo Liyong says Juba Arabic should be the lingua franca

GREAT news. South Sudan has chosen English as its official language. Next year, as part of the 2012 Olympics arts programme, the South Sudanese Kwoto Theatre Company is to perform Shakespeare's play Cymbeline, a tale of love, death and war, in Juba Arabic at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd May.

Quotes of the Day
"English will make us different and modern. From now on all our laws, textbooks and official documents have to be written in that language. Schools, the police, retail and the media must all operate in English." - Edward Mokole at Ministry of Higher Education, South Sudan, October 2011

"With English we can become one nation. We can iron out our tribal differences and communicate with the rest of the world." - Rehan Abdelnebi, News Director at South Sudan Radio, October 2011
Source: Report from BBC News Online -
By Rosie Goldsmith
Saturday, 08 October 2011; 12:01. Full copy:
South Sudan adopts the language of Shakespeare

The young nation of South Sudan has chosen English as its official language but after decades of civil war, the widespread learning of English presents a big challenge for a country brought up speaking a form of Arabic.

I knew there might be problems as soon as I arrived at Juba International airport - and was asked to fill in my own visa form, as the immigration officer could not write English.

The colourful banners and billboards hung out to celebrate South Sudan's independence back in July, and still adorning the streets now, are all in English. As are the names of the new hotels, shops and restaurants.

After decades of Arabisation and Islamisation by the Khartoum government, the predominantly Christian and African south has opted for English as its official language.

'One nation'

At the Ministry of Higher Education, Edward Mokole, told me: "English will make us different and modern. From now on all our laws, textbooks and official documents have to be written in that language. Schools, the police, retail and the media must all operate in English."

This was "a good decision for South Sudan", he added forcefully, rather playing down the fact that there are very few fluent English speakers in the country.

As a devastated country of remote villages and mainly dirt roads, with no industry, banks or landlines, with erratic electricity and connectivity, where 85% of people are illiterate and the education system is shattered, South Sudan does not just have very little English, but very little written language at all.

I visited schools without textbooks.

The head of English at Juba University had no books in his office, let alone electricity or a computer.

I saw no bookshops.

For the new rulers, who fought with the Sudan People's Liberation Army, learning English is a new struggle.

"With English," the news director of South Sudan Radio, Rehan Abdelnebi, told me haltingly, "we can become one nation. We can iron out our tribal differences and communicate with the rest of the world."

'Development tool'

But peace is still fragile.

The whole of Sudan is riddled with conflicts. About 150 different languages are spoken in the South and there are thousands of guns out there, as well as a quarter of a million former guerrillas being demobilised and disarmed.

There are soldiers everywhere in Juba.

But there are also traders from Uganda and Kenya, as well as about two million returnees from the north, refugees and thousands of Westerners seeking fortunes or bringing aid.

I met the new British Council director in his office - in the grounds of a notorious nightclub (the club had free office space, and in Juba you take what you get).

After 65 years operating in Sudan, the council appointed Tony Calderbank to oversee the spread of English in the new nation.

Wherever Tony went, I saw people approach him, desperate for courses, books, teachers and grants.

"English has become a tool for development," Tony told me, "and, even if the British in Sudan are sometimes seen as colonial overlords, the English language is respected."

Shakespeare's influence

Brigadier-General Awur Malual had asked the British Council to teach his soldiers.

The general had grown up speaking his tribal tongue Bor and Juba Arabic, a colloquial form of Arabic, but can now speak remarkably good English.

When I asked him how he had learned it, he told me: "By picking up books in the bush when I was fighting. I read some things about that man Shakespeare."

"What about Dickens or Jane Austen?" I asked. He scratched his head and said: "I don't know them."

I promised to send the general some Dickens.

During my time in Juba, several people asked me for books - a dictionary of law and biographies of Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama - black leaders who, for them, inspire hope.

Already, I have put copies of Shakespeare's Cymbeline in the post.

Next year, as part of the 2012 Olympics arts programme, the South Sudanese Kwoto Theatre Company is to perform this tale of love, death and war in Juba Arabic at the Globe theatre in London.

Thirty-six other Shakespeare plays in 36 other languages will also be staged.

As we swatted flies down by the Nile, I asked Kwoto's director, Derik Alfred why he was swimming against the tide - why not Shakespeare in English?

"We must still celebrate our own language," he told me mischievously, "but first of all we have to translate Cymbeline from English into Juba Arabic!"
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News from Sudan Radio Service -
Writer And Academician Says Juba Arabic Should Be The Lingua Franca In S. Sudan

Friday, 07 October 2011—(Juba, S. Sudan) —Renowned South Sudanese writer and academic, Professor Taban Lo Liyong, says Juba Arabic should be the lingua franca in South Sudan, and not Khartoum Arabic.

Professor Lo Liyong says Juba Arabic is an African language that is easy to learn and is a uniting cultural factor.

[Prof Taban Lo Liyong]: “It is graphic as well as being dramatic, so it can be used for creating laughter. Then what we need to do is to infuse and inject into it with philosophical words, serious terminologies, and serious technical words, technical concepts that is what we need.”

Prof Taban Said Juba Arabic already has a dictionary which is written using the Roman alphabet. He said it the responsibility of linguists to develop Juba Arabic grammar.

He also said that South Sudanese women should adopt the Shilluk Lou sheet wrapper as the national dress for South Sudan
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Cymbeline the play by William Shakespeare

Cymbeline play script - text

Read more at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online.

This was long thought to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare that had any claim to have been painted from life, until another possible life portrait, the Cobbe portrait, was revealed in 2009. The portrait is known as the 'Chandos portrait' [ ] after a previous owner, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. It was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. The portrait is oil on canvas, feigned oval, 21 3/4 in. x 17 1/4 in. (552 mm x 438 mm), Given by Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere, 1856, on display in Room 4 at the National Portrait Gallery, London, England, United Kingdom. Read more at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online.

Charles Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, being responsible for some of English literature's most iconic novels and characters. Read more at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online.

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics. Read more at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online.

Olympic Games in London 2012
The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the four-year Cultural Olympiad, taking place from 21 June to 9 September 2012.
Complementing the sport events at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Festival will be the biggest party the UK has ever seen, with a huge range of events from leading artists from all over the world. Click here to read more.
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Since last November, this site Sudan Watch has had a Twitter page @sudanwatch!/sudanwatch still under construction. A few moments ago I noticed a message (see copy of tweet below) and, for the record, have retweeted it. Not sure what to reply, except to say that my Blogger Profile can be found here or in the sidebar of this page. It's a long story as to why I've not posted here since July or developed the Twitter page. Maybe more on this at a later date. This site, created in August 2004, receives many visitors from Africa. At certain times of day the majority of visitors are in Sudan. I am not aware of this site being inaccessible from Khartoum. Longstanding followers of this site know that I am a friend of Sudan and South Sudan, not a foe. If you are in Khartoum and encounter problems accessing this site, please do let me know. Thanks.
alyatsudan Alya Al-Mahdi
@sudanwatch: who are you and y is your website inaccessible from Khartoum?
26 July 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

South Sudan declares independence - Hilde Johnson heads new U.N. Mission in the Republic of South Sudan

Sudan Watch News Roundup, compiled by the editor:
  • South Sudan declares independence
  • SSLA speaker James Wani Igga declares ROSS an independent state
  • President Omar al-Bashir acknowledges south's independence
  • Salva Kiir says independence of south is timeless history
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tells north and south to continue good relations
  • Leaders call on north and south to continue cooperation
  • NISS to cooperate with security organs in the south to maintain security and peace
  • The south and north have agreed to deploy Ethiopian troops in Abyei
  • UN approves 7,000 peacekeepers for South Sudan
  • Norway's Hilde F. Johnson heads new UN Mission in South Sudan
  • Netanyahu announces Israeli recognition of South Sudan
  • The Republic of South Sudan's National Anthem
Full details in eleven reports copied here below.

Report by XINHUA [via]
Sunday, 10 July 2011; 14:44 - (Juba) - The Republic of South Sudan declared independence Saturday, waiting to be recognized as the 193rd member of the United Nations and hoping to keep peace with the north after decades of war.

Speaker of South Sudan Legislative Assembly James Wani Igga read the Proclamation of the Independence of South Sudan, sparking wild cheers of hundreds of thousands of people who gathered at the Mausoleum of John Garang, the late leader of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

Based on the will of the people of South Sudan, and as confirmed by the outcome of the referendum of self-determination, we "hereby declare South Sudan to be an independent and sovereign nation," Igga said.

The new state would be a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional character, and it is committed to establishing friendly relations with all countries "including the Republic of Sudan", Igga said.

The ecstatic crowd drummed and danced. Many burst into tears when the national flag of South Sudan was hoisted. Slogans of "South Sudan Oyee" and "Freedom Oyee" were shouted repeatedly by hundreds of thousands of people.

Salva Kiir Mayardit took the oath of office as President of the new republic after he signed the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir stood beside Kiir to watch the military parade led by the Sudan People's Liberation Army, who had fought decades of war with the Sudanese government troops.

"Finally we are independent. Millions of lives have not been lost in vain," SPLA Chief of Staff General James Hoth Mai told Xinhua.

"We want to keep peace with the north and we are confident to guard our people."

"There is no battle in the border areas today although the situation in the contested Abyei region is still tense," he said.

"As a newly founded nation, we want to communicate with all the members of the international community," he said, "We have oil, fertile land and brave people, but we have no skills or infrastructure. We need the world to help us develop from almost zero."

Senior officials including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and representatives from the Arab League, African Union and European Union spoke at the ceremony.

Ban commended in his speech Kiir and Bashir for the "difficult decisions and compromises," but said that Sudan and South Sudan have not yet resolved all of their political issues and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the two sides in 2005 have not be completed. The status of the contentious border region of Abyei remains unsettled.

"Let their differences be resolved around the negotiating table, " Ban said.

Jiang Weixin, a special envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao, noted at the ceremony that the birth of South Sudan is the achievement of peaceful process that ended the longest civil war in Africa and successful referendum where Southern people choose independence.

"There are still on-going negotiations on some unsettled issues between South Sudan and Sudan. We believe that the two sides would put peace first and solve the issues through negotiations and consultations based on mutual understanding," he said. "We sincerely hope South Sudan and Sudan would be good neighbors, partners and brothers forever."

Bashir, who saw Sudan's status as Africa's largest country to become history, said Khartoum recognized South Sudan, asserting "the will of the people of the south must be respected."

Bashir pointedly called on marking the independence ceremony for building positive and distinguishing relations and ties binding Sudan and South Sudan. He also praised mediatory efforts have been exerting by African countries and the international community.

Bashir called U.S. President Barack Obama, who said the US formally recognized the new state, to lift sanctions imposed on Sudan.

Public celebrations still continued across Juba as jubilant crowds played music as of Saturday night.

The two rivals north and south had battled two civil wars over more than half a century. The later one, from 1983 to 2005, was the longest civil war in Africa, killing and injuring millions of people. Still more people were forced to fled to other countries.

During the referendum to decide the fate of unity or division of Sudan in January this year, nearly 99 percent of the voters approve the secession of the south from Sudan. The result was recognized by the Sudanese government and the international community, paving the way for the south's independence on July 9.

Despite the public jubilance on the independence day, South Sudan is facing serious challenges on its way of development.

With almost the same size as France, South Sudan has only 100 km of paved roads. The newest country is oil-rich but has no refinery or process industry. Among the total population of 8 million, about 80 percent even do not have access to toilet facility, and nearly a half has access to improved sources of drinking water, according to UN figures.

The human resources are poor as only 70 percent of the population is illiterate. More than 80 percent of women cannot read or write. Few people have skills related to its backbone oil industry.

"We are far behind, we must now commit all our energies to socio-economic development of our country," said Kiir in his speech. "Let us celebrate now but the work of nation building must begin immediately."

He said South Sudan will embrace public-private-partnership in rebuilding the country. The government will prioritize public interest and anyone seeking personal interests will not have a place in it, he said, adding that transparency and accountability will be pivotal.

"South Sudan will not be a failed state," he said.

PHOTO: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) and Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir attend the Independence Day ceremony in South Sudan's capital Juba July 09, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] Click here to view photo.
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Report by SRS (Sudan Radio Service)
Saturday, 09 July 2011 - (Juba) - The speaker of the South Sudan Legislative Assembly, James Wani Igga, on Saturday declared southern Sudan an independent state.

Wani Igga announced the independent state of South Sudan in Juba at the Doctor John Garang Mausoleum where the celebrations were being held on Sartuday.

[Wani Igga]: “We the democratically elected representatives of the people, based on the will of the people of Southern Sudan. And as conformed by the outcome of the referendum of self-determination hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state. With full international legal personality to be known henceforth as the Republic of South Sudan.”

Wani Igga stressed that the Republic of South Sudan will respect the human rights of all Southern Sudanese.

The celebrations was attended by dignitaries from the international community including US envoy to the UN, Susan Rice, UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon and president Omar al-Bashir among others.
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Report by SRS (Sudan Radio Service)
Saturday, 09 July 2011 - (Juba) - The President of the Republic of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir officially acknowledged the formation of the new Republic of South Sudan.

Bashir spoke during the Independence celebration of the Republic of South Sudan, in Juba on Saturday.

[Omar al-Bashir] “We have continued on this path for the sake of maintaining peace, and even though we hoped for the unity of the country, but for the sake of peace, we recognized the separation of the South from the united Sudan, which then led to the formation of a new country, that we (the government) have formally recognized yesterday in Khartoum the new Republic of South Sudan.”

Bashir reiterated his government’s commitment to assist, the Republic of South Sudan.

[Omar al-Bashir] “We are ready to assist the new born republic of South Sudan, in all areas namely technical and administrative. We are also ready to assist them with services alongside other things which the people of the new republic will request of us. Some people predicted that we might stand on the way of the referendum exercise, but that didn’t happen as the referendum took place peacefully. And when the results were released, some thought we might choose not to recognize the results, but we have recognized the loud voices of the southerners, who had freely chosen their destiny”

Bashir stressed that the two countries will work together for the sake of peaceful co-existence.
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Report by SRS (Sudan Radio Service)
Saturday, 09 July 2011 - (Juba) - The President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit said the Independence of the south will remain a historic day for generations to come.

Speaking during the celebrations of the South Sudan Independence in Juba, Salva Kiir Mayardit said that the south has finally achieved its freedom.

President Kiir reiterated his pardon to southern rebel leaders urging them to join the government in a bid to develop the new nation.

He said the flag of South Sudan remains a symbol of Freedom, Democracy and Peace to the people of Southern Sudan.

President Kiir thanked the President of the Republic of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir for recognizing South Sudan as a sovereign state.
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Report by SRS (Sudan Radio Service)
Saturday, 09 July 2011 - (Juba) - The UN secretary General Ban Kimoon has called for a continued cooperation between North and South Sudan for peace to prevail in the region.

Kimoon was speaking at the celebrations of the independence of the republic of south Sudan in Juba on Saturday. While commending both regions for their commitment to peace, Kimoon called on President Omar Al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir to ensure a full implementation of the outstanding issues in the CPA.

[Ban Ki-Moon]: “President Salva Kiir, President Omar Al-Bashir, I commend you both for having come so far. Both of you have made difficult decisions and compromises. Seeing both of you here today testifies your common commitment to peace and partnership. This is why we are here today, because we are committed to helping southern Sudan to attain its future. As we look into the future, we must recognize the past as well. It’s a big opportunity to renew commitments to face the future as partners not rival. With this in mind, we do know that some key prospects of the peace process have not been completed. The referendum in Abyei is yet to take place. The voices of the people in southern Kordofan and Blue Nile are not yet heard in popular consultation”

Kimoon also thanked the African Union for its contribution to Sudan’s achievements, and promised that the UN will continue its support to south Sudan, to help the new state catch up with the rest of the developed countries in Africa and the world as a whole.
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Report by SRS (Sudan Radio Service)
Saturday, 09 July 2011 - (Juba) - Leaders from all over the world have called on the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan to work towards solving pending issues in the CPA.

Speaking during the South Sudan’s independence day celebrations at the Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba on Saturday, a representative of the People’s Republic of China, Jiang Weixin, said that continued negotiations is vital for both countries even after the South’s independence.

[Jiang Weixin]: “There are still on-going negotiations concerning some pending issues between south sudan and sudan. Behind those issues are complicated historical factors and many practical concerns. We believe that the two sides will bear in mind the overall interest of peace and continue to engage in negotiations and consultation to address those issues on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation. We sincerely hope that south sudan and sudan will be good neighbors, good partners, and good brothers forever.”

The leaders also called on the President of the Republic of South Sudan to ensure peace in order for the new state to develop.

In his speech, the President of the Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasongo stressed that the two presidents must continue to work together for economic growth in both regions.

[Obiang Nguema Mbasogo]: “This great moment has actually brought to an end all the differences that existed in the past. And we sincerely hope that now you will match forward to establishing peace to all communities. We also ask the president of south sudan and his government to work earnestly for his people with all the neighboring nations for peace and development of this new nation that has just come to be. Long live south sudan.”

Today marks the independence day of the Republic of South Sudan.
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Report by SRS (Sudan Radio Service)
Friday, 01 July 2011 - (Karari) - The Sudan National Intelligence and Security Service or NISS says it will continue to collaborate with the new Republic of South Sudan's security organs to maintain security and peace in the region.

The Chief of NISS, Mohamed Atta al-Mawla, was speaking during the graduation of about seventy NISS officers in northern Sudan on Thursday.

[Mohamed Atta]: "In one week’s time, our brothers in the south are going to leave us, according to their will and rights they had expressed in southern Sudan referendum 6 months ago. We will continue our methods with them as two co-operative and reconciled countries. We will give them our support without any bad intention and without excessiveness or exceeding our limit."

Atta stressed that the SA, security and Police officers will maintain peace and security as southern Sudan becomes independent next week.
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Report by SRS (Sudan Radio Service)
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 - (Juba) - The South, North and the Ethiopian government have agreed to dispatch a team of about three thousand highly equipped Ethiopian peacekeeping troops to Abyei area this month.

The decision to deploy Ethiopian forces into Abyei was reached on Tuesday following the agreement between North and South governments to demilitarize the region and allow civilians to return to their homes.

SPLA spokesperson, Colonel Phillip Aguer Panyang told SRS in Juba on Wednesday that the army supports the deployment of a neutral body in Abyei to act as a buffer zone between the North and the South.

[Philip Aguer]: “The Ethiopians suggested representing the U-N peacekeeping in Abyei, so that is the suggestion but the details of the implementation and the mechanisms of the implementation are not yet clearer. The idea of principle is to be accepted by the government of southern Sudan, we are just implementers; the army doesn’t object or accept - they implement what the government decides. So we are just ready to implement whatever will come out from the government representatives.”

Colonel Aguer further accused UNMIS of failing twice to protect civilians in Abyei during attacks by Sudan Armed Forces.

He said he is hopeful the new peacekeeping forces will be mandated to protect civilians at all cost in Abyei region.

[Philip Aguer]: “As you have seen UNMIS, twice they have failed to protect the people of Abyei, and after this the UN is trying to strengthen their mandates. So the coming of a UN mission team in form of Ethiopians or other forces will have a stronger mandate, so they will be capable of protecting the civil population of Abyei. You have seen how the regime in Khartoum is unpredictable, you can hear them talk positively today and tomorrow they will talk other things.”

The new agreement on temporary arrangements for administration and security in Abyei signed by the two parties is said to open up room for more dialogue as South Sudan awaits its declaration of independence in less than three weeks’ time.
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"U.N. approves 7,000 peacekeepers for South Sudan"
Report by EDITH M. LEDERER for Associated Press (AP)
Friday, 08 July 2011 - (United Nations) - The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a new peacekeeping force for South Sudan on Friday, assuring the world's newest nation on the eve of its independence of military and police support to help maintain peace and security.

The council authorized the deployment of up to 7,000 military personnel and 900 international police, plus an unspecified number of U.N. civilian staff including human rights experts.

The council acted ahead of independence celebrations on Saturday in South Sudan's capital Juba when the mainly ethnic African south officially breaks away from the Arab-dominated north whose capital is in Khartoum.

South Sudan's independence is the culmination of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war but there are fears the conflict could be reignited because troops from the north and south are facing off in the contested oil-rich border region of Abyei. Northern troops and forces loyal to the south are also fighting in Southern Kordofan, a state just over the border in the north.

"This is a strong signal of support to the new South Sudan," Germany's U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig, the current council president, said after the vote. "The council believed that this was a substantial contribution to the security challenges facing South Sudan."

He said the Security Council is expected to give South Sudan another vote of confidence on July 13 by recommending its membership in the United Nations. The General Assembly is expected to approve South Sudan as the U.N.'s 193rd member state the following day.

Diplomats said Russian concerns about authorizing a mission before South Sudan becomes independent were overcome by stating in the opening sentence that the Security Council welcomes it as a state when independence is proclaimed on July 9.

The resolution establishes a new United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan on July 9 for an initial period of one year. It calls for reviews after three months and six months to determine if conditions on the ground would allow the military contingent to be reduced from 7,000 to 6,000 troops.

It gives the U.N. mission, to be known as UNMISS, a mandate "to consolidate peace and security, and to help establish the conditions for development ... with a view to strengthening the capacity of the government of the Republic of South Sudan to govern effectively and democratically and establish good relations with its neighbors."

The resolution specifically authorizes the mission to support the new government on its political transition, issues of governance and establishing state authority throughout the country, and to advise it on "an inclusive constitutional process," holding elections, and establishing an independent media.

It authorizes U.N. peacekeepers to support the government in preventing conflict and demobilizing combatants, to conduct patrols in areas at high risk of conflict, and to protect civilians "under imminent threat of physical violence." It also authorizes the mission to cooperate with U.N. agencies in supporting the government in peace-building activities, including promoting development, the rule of law, security and justice.

The U.N. has had a 10,400-strong peacekeeping force, known as UNMIS, monitoring implementation of the 2005 north-south agreement, which operates on both sides of the border. Its mandate expires Saturday.

Diplomats said late Friday that Security Council members were close to agreement on a resolution to wind down UNMIS, and it could be approved over the weekend.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon proposed a three-month extension to UNMIS but the Khartoum government rejected any extension and said it wanted all U.N. troops out of the north.

Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations have been private, said the five permanent Security Council nations — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France — jointly asked the Sudanese government earlier this week to allow a U.N. presence in the north after South Sudan breaks away.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who will be leading the American delegation to South Sudan's independence ceremonies, said Thursday in Washington that many council members still are trying to persuade Sudan's leaders to keep a U.N. presence.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who stopped in Khartoum Friday en route to Juba for the independence celebration, again urged the Sudanese government to extend the UNMIS mandate "at least until the situation calms down" and to end the confrontation in Southern Kordofan.

Ban also announced the appointment of Hilde Johnson, a former Norwegian Cabinet minister and the current deputy executive director of the U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, as head of the new U.N. mission in South Sudan — a move welcomed by the Security Council.

Leaders from the north and south signed an agreement on June 20 to demilitarize Abyei and allow and Ethiopian peacekeeping force to move and a week later the Security Council authorized the deployment of 4,200 Ethiopian troops in Abyei for six months.

One unresolved issue is future responsibility for monitoring the north-south border.

The governments of both Sudans signed an agreement on border security on June 29 and the resolution calls on the parties to propose arrangements for border monitoring by July 20. If they fail to do so, the resolution requests the new U.N. mission in South Sudan "to observe and report on any flow of personnel, arms and related materiel across the border with Sudan."
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Sunday, 10 July 2011 - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced Israel's recognition of South Sudan, which declared its independence on Saturday.

"Yesterday, a new state was born, South Sudan. I hereby announce that Israel recognizes the Republic of South Sudan," Netanyahu said during the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. "We wish it success. This is a peace-seeking country and we would be pleased to cooperate with it in order to ensure its development and its prosperity."

During the meeting, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said the creation of South Sudan will make it easier on Israel to send back Sudanese refugees, and that the government should hold diplomatic talks with the new country over the issue.

Tens of thousands of South Sudanese danced and cheered as their new country formally declared its independence on Saturday.

The independence of the state capped a hard-won separation from the north that also plunged the fractured region into a new period of uncertainty.

Israel has reportedly already established contact with government authorities in Sudan and has cooperated on issues relating to agriculture, economics and security.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir was quoted in October as saying that he did not rule out the establishment of “good relations” with Israel, including the opening of an Israeli Embassy in Juba, the country’s capital. He was also quoted as saying that Israel “is the enemy of the Palestinians only, and not an enemy of the South.” He hinted at the time of recognition of Israel.
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Here below are the lyrics of the anthem for the Republic of South Sudan. [Hat tip: Xan Rice Friday, 08 July 2011]

Click here or here to listen to the anthem uploaded at YouTube by emmaa549 on 20 June 2011.

Click here to view video of the Speaker of South Sudan Legislative Assembly James Wani Igga reading the Proclamation of the Independence of South Sudan, uploaded at YouTube by Laseranthem on Saturday, 10 July 2011.

Oh God!

We praise and glorify you

For your grace on South Sudan

Land of great abundance

Uphold us united in peace and harmony

Oh motherland!

We rise raising flag with the guiding star

And sing songs of freedom with joy

For justice, liberty and prosperity

Shall forevermore reign

Oh great patriots!

Let us stand up in silence and respect

Saluting our martyrs whose blood

Cemented our national foundation

We vow to protect our nation

Oh God, bless South Sudan!

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From Twitter / sudanunit 09 July 2011 15:45:
If you missed it, here's a video of the moment the flag was raised in South Sudan, in front of huge crowd in Juba

Monday, March 14, 2011

Southern Sudan walks out of talks on secession

THE peaceful division of Sudan into two independent nations this summer appears in jeopardy after leaders of southern Sudan walked out of talks over what they say are plans by the northern government to install "a puppet government" in the oil-rich south.

The National Congress Party (NCP) dismissed the south's accusations as an attempt to deflect criticism over weeks of violence since a referendum in January that overwhelmingly approved separation.

The south's Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has accused the NCP of fuelling conflicts in southern Sudan as it plans to overthrow the region’s government.

Addressing the press on Sunday in Juba, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) Minister of Peace and CPA Implementation Pagan Amum said the north has been supporting and financing militias to destabilise the region.

Full details below, followed by latest news from Sudan Radio Service (SRS). (Note: Click here to read Update Report No. 1 on Libya from the UN Security Council published Monday, 14 March 2011).

Southern Sudan walks out of talks on secession
From The Kansas City Star, USA -
McClatchy Newspapers
Published online Monday, 14 March 2011, 06:44 PM. Copy in full:
The peaceful division of Sudan into two independent nations this summer appears in jeopardy after leaders of southern Sudan walked out of talks here over what they say are plans by the northern government to install "a puppet government" in the oil-rich south.

Citing documents as hard proof of the allegations, the southern leaders broke off talks Saturday aimed at setting formulas for dividing northern and southern Sudan into two independent nations in July after 50 years of civil war.

The documents, which were obtained by McClatchy Newspapers on Monday but whose authenticity could not be independently verified, appear to be official internal communications within Sudan's northern government from 2009 to late 2010.

Some pages indicate that northern military leaders provided arms to key southern rebels within the last year, including George Athor, a renegade former senior general in the southern army who killed 200 civilians in an attack last month on a remote village and who launched another against a major provincial capital on Saturday that killed dozens.

The south's Sudan People's Liberation Movement has long maintained that the northern government has continued its wartime policy of arming southern dissidents even after a 2005 peace deal between the two sides. The north's National Congress Party consistently denies such claims.

"The National Congress Party is not interested in peace, it is not interested in cooperation. They are only interested in destabilizing Southern Sudan," Pagan Amum, secretary-general of the south's Sudan People's Liberation Movement, said Monday.

The public row began Saturday, when Amum unexpectedly announced that the SPLM was suspending participation in negotiations with the north over such sticky issues as how to split Sudan's oil industry, how to divide the nation's national debt and where to draw the disputed border.

The NCP dismissed the south's accusations as an attempt to deflect criticism over weeks of violence since a referendum in January that overwhelmingly approved separation. But the NCP has not reacted to the documents specifically.

"They will come back," said Salah Gosh, a northern official and a former Sudanese intelligence chief. "They have no other way rather than to sit down and solve the problem."

One of the documents appears to be a letter dated May 18, 2010, and signed by a military commander in the northern city of Kosti that reports that a delivery of weapons and ammunition had just been given to an Athor agent.

Another, dated Sept. 22, 2010, is from the head of northern military intelligence requesting permission to arm Lam Akol, a senior opposition figure, and other "friendly forces." A corresponding reply the next day grants the request.

Amum said the documents prove that the north hopes to overthrow the southern government and is possibly preparing for genocide against southern people.

The hostile rhetoric has put an end to a brief honeymoon period following the north's decision to accept the rebellious south's choice to separate from northern rule.

One of the biggest drivers of ongoing tensions is the disputed border region of Abyei, where more than 100 people died in a week of fighting beginning Feb. 27. At least three southern villages were attacked and burned by northern fighters. Although small in size and population, Abyei has a strong lobby within the SPLM and its local tribe holds a number of senior positions.

Mediation efforts by the United States, the African Union, and the United Nations have failed to find a political solution on Abyei. A White House statement last week condemned both sides for deploying troops in the area in violation of the 2005 peace deal.

Monday was the final day for southern security forces to withdraw before northern cattle herders move south into southern-inhabited Abyei land, said Al Dirdiri Mohammed Ahmed, the lead NCP negotiator on Abyei. The official said he expected a "lot of skirmishes" and deterioration of the situation in the coming days.

A senior southern official in Abyei, Charles Abyei, said that the remarks proved that the NCP is directing the northern attacks.

(Boswell is a McClatchy Newspapers special correspondent. His reporting is supported in part by a grant from Humanity United, a California-based human rights foundation.)
Note from Sudan Watch Editor
How to split Sudan's oil industry, how to divide the nation's national debt and where to draw the disputed border? I say, imagine this: Sudanese elders and youth organising the pooling of monetary wealth generated from contested area of Abyei to pay off Sudan's debts, pay for peacekeepers and pay for welfare, education and water systems for ALL residents of ALL age groups in Sudan (not forgetting the animals, birds, wildlife, plants, etc.) You may say that I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one...

P.S. There are two sides to every story and probably neither one is the truth. There's an information war and cyber war going on at the moment. Don't believe much of what's reported, except for here :-) This note is disjointed as I'm over-exhausted while staying up late to post this (now 2:53 AM). Friends of Sudan Watch would not believe what I've been going through here over past six months. Sorry if I owe you an email, it may take a few months or more.
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14 March 2011 – (Juba) – The SPLM has accused the National Congress Party of fuelling conflicts in southern Sudan as it plans to overthrow the region’s government.

Addressing the press on Sunday in Juba, the GOSS Minister of Peace and CPA Implementation Pagan Amum said the north has been supporting and financing militias to destabilize the region.

[Pagan Amum]: “Khartoum has become the headquarters of all the militia groups that are working to destabilized southern Sudan. You have followed what happened in Jonglei, Unity states, and a few days ago it happened in Malakal, Upper Nile state. All these are taking place and are happening as part of plans by the National Congress Party and its leadership to overthrow the government of southern Sudan before July and install a puppet government in southern Sudan that will be under the control of National Congress Party and this is to deny independence of southern Sudan.”

Amum further accused the NCP of arming border communities to carry out genocide in southern Sudan.

[Pagan Amum]: “The other plan is arming Janjaweed forces along the border from Umda–Fok up to the border with Sennar. They have been arming Arab tribes and creating Janjaweed along the border between the south and the north, especially from the Misseriya. Their plan is to make these tribes to confront southern Sudan so that they carry out genocide and destroy the south and the people of southern Sudan like what they have done in Darfur.”

Amum added that the SPLM leadership calls on the UN Security Council to investigate the alleged involvement of the NCP in destabilizing peace and security in southern Sudan.

Following these claims, the SPLM leadership suspended talks on preparations for southern independence with the NCP.
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14 March 2011 – (Khartoum) – Responding to the SPLM allegations, the advisor to the federal minister of information Dr. Rabie Abdullaati said the NCP has no hand in what is happening in southern Sudan.

He spoke to SRS on Monday from Khartoum.

[Rabie Abdullaati]: “This is a biased accusation. First President al-Bashir announced worldwide that we accepted the referendum results. We have implemented the agreements and we are discussing post-referendum issues. This coupled with the accusations by Pagan Amum; one can only conclude that it is only illusion or failure to meet the needs of southern Sudanese while preparing for an independent country.”

Abdullaati said southern leaders have failed to solve many internal problems and that is why they blame the north.

[Rabie Abdullaati]: “There are a lot of problems in the south that the Government of Southern Sudan has failed to solve. There is a problem between the SPLM and the rest of the opposition parties and there is tribalism. So Pagan Amum and the SPLM find themselves in a dilemma and there is no way-out unless they hung it to the north. This issue has no basis and such accusations come out of failure to accept responsibility.”

That was the advisor to the federal minister of information Dr. Rabie Abdullaati speaking to SRS on Sunday.
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14 March 2011 – (Juba) – Latest reports indicate that more than 30 people were killed and many others wounded in the recent clashes in Malakal Upper Nile state on Saturday.

A militia group led by commander Olony, said to be loyal to renegade General George Athor clashed with the SPLA in Malakal town on Saturday morning.

The SPLA spokesperson, Colonel Phillip Aguer Panyang confirmed the incident to SRS from Juba on Monday.

[Philip Aguer Panyang]: “The casualty on the side of the attackers in accordance with our first information was 23, but after some search, inside and around the town, the casualties of the rebels stood at 26. Also, one police soldier and one SPLA soldier were killed. 6 more SPLA soldiers were wounded 2 civilians were this morning reported to have died from the attack while 15 more civilians are wounded. Now the SPLA is in control of Malakal town and the situation is normal in Malakal.”

The Upper Nile state minister of information and communication, Peter Lam Both also told SRS on Monday from Malakal that there was no displacement of civilians following the attack.

[Peter Lam Both]: “No, people have not been displaced in Malakal. It was an incident that happened near the airport and in an area called Ray al Masri. What we have done as the government of the state is to put a very strong security in place. We have a curfew in place now and we want to make sure that anyone coming to Malakal is a civilian. We have introduced check points so that people who are armed will not enter the capital of Upper Nile state.”

That was the minister for Information and Communication in Upper Nile state, Peter Lam Both speaking to SRS from Malakal on Monday.
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14 March 2011 – (Wau) – More than three thousand Sudan Armed Forces elements in the Joint Integrated Units this week will leave Western Bahr el Ghazal state back to the north.

This is part of an agreement by the Joint Defense Council that all SAF-JIU forces should withdraw from the region by mid-April.

Our reporter Christina Jambo reports from Wau.

[Christina Jambo]: “Yes I visited the JIU headquarters known as Girinte in Wau. According to the management, three thousand soldiers will be transported today (Monday) using eight vehicles and the rest will travel on Wednesday by train to El Obeid in Northern Kordofan state. From there they will wait for orders for the next move. I have seen the trains ready to take the soldiers. The southerners in the JIU said they are not taking their families because they don’t know what is going to happen on their way to the north and also others said that they are just going for a short time to hand over and get their dues and they will be back so some are happy and others are really confused.”

The Council agreed that by 9th of April all the SAF-JIU forces should have withdrawn back to the north.
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14 March 2011 – (Kadugli) – The National Election Commission is conducting a two-day workshop on election laws in Kadugli, Southern Kordofan state starting on Monday.

The chairperson of the Southern Kordofan High Election Committee Mohamed Idris Mousa spoke to SRS on Monday from Kadugli.

[Mohamed Idris]: “The workshop in the parliament was organized by the Southern Kordofan High Election commission and it will discuss the election law, screening and appeals. The officials who came from Khartoum include General Abdulla Al Hardulo and the legal Adviser Joseph. The two-day’ workshop started today at 10:00 AM and will end tomorrow at 4:00 PM. About a hundred people are attending including the judiciary, security personnel, including police, the political parties and UNIMIS election department.”

Idris said that so far the election body has only received to applications for the post of governorship in the region; SPLM’s Abul Aziz Al Hilu and NCP’s Mohammed Haroun Run.
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14 March 2011 – (Kadugli) – The SPLM has presented it’s nominees for both gubernatorial and parliamentary elections in Southern Kordofan State on Saturday.

Elections in the region are scheduled for May 2011.

The S-P-L-M spokesperson in Southern Kordofan State, Mohamadain Ibrahim Omar spoke to SRS from Kadugli on Saturday.

[Mohamadain Ibrahim]: “The S-P-L-M has submitted names of all its candidates for the legislative and executive elections in Southern Kordofan state, and submitted the candidature of Lieutenant-General Abdul-Aziz Adam Al-Hilu for the position of governorship in Southern Kordofan state. Also we have submitted the candidature of thirty-two members for geographical constituencies and eight candidates for party list and fourteen members for women list. The total number of S-P-L-M candidates is fifty-five candidates for various positions. The total number of supporters for Abdul-Aziz Adam Al-Hilu the only S-P-L-M candidate for the governorship is more than twelve thousand. They collected signatures and presented them to the election commission.”

The S-P-L-M chairman in Gezira State Anwar Mohamed Al-Hajj expressed his support for the candidature of Abdul Aziz Adam Al Hilu who is currently the deputy chairman of the SPLM Northern Sector.
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Further news from SRS: