This post is about the the news today declaring the independence of South Sudan. The 196th nation to be formed in the world and the 54th nation in Africa. At 10am local time, the new flag of the Republic of South Sudan was raised and the new anthem was played in Juba, the new capital. Dignitaries from around the world were present, including: the US, China, Norway, European Union, Ethiopia, and the African Union. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave an address talking about the challenges and the hopes of the new nation and how the world would be there to help this new nation.
I was inspired to watch this unfold. As I watched NTV here in Uganda, the caption during the live coverage was, “Free At Last”. Many in Uganda side with the South Sudanese than their Arab cousins to their north. After a 21 year civil war (one of the longest in Africa) and a peace deal in 2005 paving the way for this day, the hopes of thousands of people were raised on this day. I was also a little pessimistic. I have recently read a book called “The State of Africa” by Martin Meredith that details the 50 year history of Africa since the first nation, Ghana, gained it’s independence from colonial authorities. The stories detail one tragic story after another as these fledgling nations fell into economic and violent woes. One dictator after another came to power only to steal and/or brutally repress their peoples. Would this new African nation suffer the same fate? Who knows. There are still tribal issues and land disputes with their neighbor to the north, Sudan. The UN is to provide several thousand troops to act as peacekeepers between the two nations in partnership with the African Union. Only time will tell.
Some local story links below.