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