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July 2011 - Posts

Armed Forces Arrest Commander of Justice and Equality Movement, South Kordofan Sector

Khartoum, July 21 (SUNA)

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The Armed Forces has arrested the commander of the Justice and Equality Movement - South Kordofan Sector (Hamad) who formed a military faction of the movement at the Nuba Mountains area after the rebel movement was defeated in Al-Tais area .
In a statement to SUNA, the spokesman of the Armed Forces, Col. Al-Sawarmi Khalid, said that the Justice and Equality Movement's commander is currently detained by the Armed Forces and will be delivered to the concerned justice organs in the coming days .

Headlines of major daily newspapers issued in Khartoum today, Wednesday the 20th of July 2011

صحفdaily news papers issued .. daily news papers  issued .. daily news papers issued 

ALSAHAFA :
10% added taxes on communication and supporting sugar and oil commodities
Ministry of finance presents an amended draft balance to the parliament by 23.2billion SDG
Strict measures to ban any leake of the SDG from the south.
Gambari calls the world community to support Adoha document


ALRAI ALA'AM:
South Sudan state officially requests to export oil via Portsudan
The issuance of the new currency next week
Ministry of finance : increasing the tax on communication companies and imposing fees on petrol services and the parliament criticizes the price increase and calls for its control
Launching 6 breads for one SDG in Khartoum state


ALAHRAM ALYOUM:
increasing the value added tax on phone calls by 30%
The formation of higher committees for currency exchange comprising representatives from the security and the general auditing .


ALRAID:
The army holds off an attack by Alhillo forces in southern Kadogli
minister of finance : no increase in petrol and the basic commodities in the balance
the parliament approves the amended copy of the nationality act.


ALWAN:
Ministry of finance presents its emergency plan to the parliament
Governor of the Central Bank : the old currency in the south is estimated at 2.1 billion SDG.


ALINTIBAHA:
The South Sudan govrnment official agree to export the oil through the north
Ambassador of the Custodain of the two Holy Mosques affirms the strong relations between the two countries .
The new Sudanese ambassador at Egypt arrives in Cairo .

AKHIRLAHZA:
Basoli: Abdul Wahid will Join the Darfur peace
Death penality for the killer of the National Congress member Mohamed Salhin and a fight between the victim and the accused families .
The formation of a higher committee for currency exchange .

ALAKHBAR:
The announcement of the universities enrolement results in the middle of August
A national committee to complete the popular consultation measures
Exchange bearux union reduces Egypt's travellers money.
SUDANI launches a new package of services to the instututions and the government sectors

ALAHDATH:
Minister of finance : we supported the basic commodities by one and a half billion SDG
A ministerial delegation from the south government to make an agreement on oil fees
The south Sudan starts exporting its oil by one million barrels.

ALSUDANI:
South Sudan exports its first shipment of oil to China
National Congress : we are ready to negotiate with Aagar
Portsudan withesses launching the first African convoy to Gazza .

Headlines of major daily newspapers issued in Khartoum today , Monday the 18th of July 2011

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ALKHARTOUM: Justice and equality threatens to attack Khartoum .
An agreement between liberation and justice and Darfur organizations network.
National Congress : Bagan's resignation will help in solving the suspended issues .
The parliament to review today the president's address.

ALINTIBAHA: a long session of the council of ministers to solve the separation impacts .
The army : it is impossible to repeat Omdurman invasion.
The commencement of transporting 18 000 southerners after implementing the new measures .
An American committee to investigate with some SPLM leaders on the donors money .

ALTAYAR: ministry of mining starts establishing gold refinery .
Wali of north state: the agricultural bank exempted the debts on the farmers crops compounds.

ALWIFAG: while addressing the states students seventh conference ,Alkhidir announces the completion of the economic and social reformation program .
Efforts to complete the eclectricty supply for the agricultural projects in the northern , the Nile and Khartoum states .

ALHURRA : minister of defense : the borders with the south are secured .
The African Union welcomes Adoha agreement .

ALAKHBAR : a new interim authority in Darfur and a council to observe it .

ALRAID: the government : the dialogue with Justice and equality is preconditioned by its recognition to Aldoha document .

ALWAN: Khalil's movement threatens to attack Omdurman once again -
National Congress : no cabinet change at this time .
Taha : drugs industry needs strong support .
The government pledges to maintain peace in east Sudan.

ALAHRAM ALYOUM: Albashir to address tomorrow the people in Kassala and inaugurates with his counterpart Aforgi the high way linking Sudan and Eritrea.
A proposal to grant the nationality to the citizens from a northern mother or father .

AKHIR LAHZA: new development in Bagan's case .
The vice president leaves to Cairo next week .
The Egyptian ambassador celebrates the 59th anniversary of July revolution in 1952.

ALSAHAFA: the legislation committee approves the amendments in the nationality act .

Joint committees to implement the agreement and the end of Basoli's term in Doha and Gambari takes over .

Headlines of major daily news papers issued in Khartoum today Sunday the 17th of July 2011

صحفdaily news papers issued .. daily news papers  issued .. daily news papers issued 


AKHBAR ALYOUM: approving the legal and procedural measures for issuing the new currency.

In a prèss conference the commissioner reveals solutions for returning the currency circulated in the south .

Measures to allow the citizens to change their currency easily during this month .

The south state minister of investment calls for opening the boundaries with the north and enumerates the emergency causes for cooperation between the two countries .


ARLRAI ALA'AM: the central bank : 700 million USD the value of money circulated in the south .
The European Union : Aldoha agreement is a positive step towards a permanent solution for Darfur crisis .

Dr. Ghazi : Aldoha document is final .

ALRAID: Dr. Ghazi : Adoha document didn't appoints a vice president and Assissi wont take that position -
----- National Congress : SPLM planned to destroy the SDG.

ALINTIBAHA: the new currency in the banks today and the central bank warns the south .

ALWIFAG : Bagan resigned from his position as minister of peace
------- Mustafa Osman : new structure for the council of ministers and the party's secretariat within days
------- minister of finance presents the emergency program to the government .


ALWAN : the south state issues its new currency tomorrow
----- Khartoum postpones the recognition of the Libyan opposition government .

ALAKHBAR : Central Bank : changing the current currency this month
------ Ghandoor : we wont grant the double nationality for persons who voted by 98% for the separation
----- resumption of talks of suspended issues between Khartoum and Juba this week .


ALSAHAFA: 14th of July is a national day and the appointment of Darfur authority in August
------ Launching the basic infrastructures project and rehabilitation and development of services an buildings of Khartoum airport , attend by the Wali of Khartoum state and the minister of transport and leaders of air industry .


ALAYAM :the Central Bank issues a new currency before the end of this month
----- the Security Council calls for a cease fire
------ space sicences : the second of August the first day of Ramadan .

ALHURRA: to day the immunization of the first child by the Rota virus vaccine .

ALTAYAR: heavy rains in Algadarif and expansion in Cotton and Sunflower cultivation .

South Sudan flag finally raised before 192 nations at UN in New York

July 16, 2011 (JUBA) – The flag of the newly born Republic of South Sudan was officially raised at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday before the 192 exisiting member states of the world body.

The flag of South Sudan flies after the United Nations General Assembly voted on South Sudan’s membership to the United Nations at UN headquarters in New York July 14, 2011 (Reuters)

South Sudan was officially declared independent last Saturday, July 9, and was recognised by the United Nations on Thursday, July 15, as the 193rd member state following two separate unanimous votes on Wednesday and Thursday by the Security Council and the General Assembly recognising the new state, respectively.

Ambassadors from 192 nations gathered around the South Sudan flag as it was being raised high among the other flags of the world nations in the presence of the South Sudan Vice President, Riek Machar Teny, the President of the UN General Assembly, Joseph Deiss and the Secretary General of the Security Council, Ban Ki Moon.

The scene was joyous as representatives of the world nations shouted slogans welcoming South Sudan into being and congratulating the Vice President Machar for finally joining the world nations as an independent country.

South Sudan’s flag, centre, shortly after it was raised in New York in the presence of 192 representatives of member states. At the center of the picture is South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar, on his right is President of General Assembly, Joseph Deiss while on his left is UN Security Council SG, Ban Ki Moon. (Republic of South Sudan)

Hundreds of South Sudanese witnessing the ceremony at the UN headquarters cried tears of joy as the Head of the Mission of the Republic of South Sudan to the United States, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, performed traditional dances around the flag in front of the UN officials as the flag was being raised with the South Sudan national anthem.

Following the vote to recognise South Sudan, the President of the UN General Assembly, Joseph Deiss, said the world has finally welcomed South Sudan into the community of nations, adding that the new nation from Thursday would enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as other member states.

The Security Council’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, told the gathering that world had gathered at that moment and place with one voice welcoming South Sudan.

Vice President Riek Machar expressed his gratitude to the world body, saying South Sudan has finally reached the destiny its people had longed for over a century and hoped to reach.

Machar told the gathering that the people of the new nation remember the fallen martyrs among which is the founder of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), John Garang de Mabior.

The late founder died in a helicopter crash in South Sudan near the Ugandan border only 21 days after taking office as the First Vice President of Sudan and President of semi-autonomous Southern Sudan after leading 21 years of liberation struggle against Khartoum’s successive regimes.

Garang negotiated the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which granted South Sudan the right to secede from the North in a referendum held in January this year.

South voted by 98 percent to separate but the next task, Machar said, is to build the new nation, which is severely underdeveloped after almost continuous conflict since independence from British and Egyptian rule in 1956.

President of the Republic arrives Jeddah

Khartoum ,July 15 (SUNA - SPA) The President of the Republic,Field Marshal ,Omar Al-Bashir, has arrived to Jeddah coming from Doha, Qatar, after witnessing the signing ceremony of the Darfur peace agreement between the government and the Justice and , Liberation Movement (JLM) chaired by Dr. El-Tijani El-Sissi, .

                   President Al-Bashir

He was received upon arrival at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah by His Royal Highness, Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Emir of Makkah Region.
The President of the Republic, Field Marshal, Omer Al-Bashir, will hold political talks with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, during which he will brief him on the developments of the internal situation after the separation of South Sudan and the Sudan recognizes the new state of south Sudan as well as the features of the Second Republic of the Sudan which the government plans to launch in the wake of the separation in addition of discussing the regional and international issues of common interest.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that the meeting will discuss the bilateral relations between the two countries and ways of enhancing them further in addition to the regional and international issues of common interest.

On his part, Ambassador of the Sudan to the Saudi Arabia, Abdul Hafiz Ibrahim Muhammad Ali, confirmed the importance of the visit which comes in the context of the ongoing contacts between the leaderships of the two countries on all issues ,saying the Sudan will back the right of the kingdom in confronting the threats to its security.

He stressed the significant role played by Saudi Arabia in supporting Sudan at all levels and necessity of consulting and coordinating with it on the Arab and Islamic issues.

Ambassador, Abdul Hafiz, praised the keenness of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his support to Sudan and to stand beside it in facing the internal and external challenges targeting its security and stability.

He hailed the leading role played by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in strengthen the efforts of the Sudanese government to reach a lasting and comprehensive solution to the issue of Darfur, in addition to the assistance provided by the Saudi Red Crescent for the displaced people in Darfur.

He concluded that the Sudanese –Saudi summit will discuss issue of the food security in the Arab states in accordance with the efforts being exerted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to expand the Saudi agriculture investments in abroad and the efforts made by the Sudan to reach a strategic partnership with the Saudi private sector through the development of laws and legislation and the creation of the atmosphere of the investment.

President Al-Bashir declares closure of pages of Darfur issue by adoption of document

Doha, July 14 (SUNA) - President of the Republic Field Marshal Omar Al-Bashir, has announced closure of the pages of Darfur issue after the unification of the will of the Sudan by the adoption of the parties to Darfur peace document and the signing of the agreement and its supplements, adding that the document has received the support of all the stakeholders in Darfur .

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President Al-Bashir declares closure of pages of Darfur issue by adoption of document

In his address Thursday in Doha following the signing of the agreement, the President of the Republic said that we are in a new dawn of the people of Darfur to which we all proceed with strong will and determination to surpass the period of war and destruction and to approach the era of stability and reconstruction, where this new phase put us puts us to face the big responsibility, particularly the people of Darfur .

President Al-Bashir reaffirmed the commitment to the full implementation of the agreement and its responsibilities to start a new era in Darfur .

He reiterated his commitment to achieve internal harmony, enhancement of the efforts of development, reconciliation between the tribes, provision of services, resettlement of displaced persons and nomad tribes, the establishment of projects for the nomads all that which demonstrate the goals of the declared government's strategy based on solving Darfur issue.
Meanwhile, he affirmed the need to protect these sincere efforts which culminated in the signing of the peace agreement in Doha and foiling the attempts to undermine stability and security in Darfur .
Al Bashir has lauded in this regard the partners of the peace agreement, the Liberation and Justice Movement, who will join the march of construction and development for the good of the people of Darfur .

He stressed the commitment of the government to follow the road map for peace-building and enforcement of the items agreed upon, urging the peace partners to support the development efforts and to speed up the transition from the stage of providing relief to the phase of development and reconstruction with the effective participation in the reconstruction of Darfur.

President Al-Bashir hailed the initiative of the Emir of Qatar for establishment of Darfur Development Bank .
He also praised the role of Qatar and all those who contributed to supporting Darfur peace process .

North and South Sudan: two new countries, two new currencies

By Toby Collins

July 13, 2011 (LONDON) – Both North and South Sudan have announced they will be introducing new currencies, now that they are separate states.

South Sudan Pound (ST)

The president of South Sudan’s central bank, Elijah Malok, said that distribution of the South Sudan Pound will begin on July 19th at the latest. The president of Sudan, Omer Hassan al-Bashir announced that a new currency is forthcoming.

In his address, the Sudanese president said that the goal of this move is to disentangle the economy from South Sudan, confirming leaked reports to this effect.

North and South Sudan have used the Sudan Pound, one of which is worth $0.37. The reintroduction of the Sudan Pound used under British colonial rule, at an estimated cost of US$150 million, began in 2007, after 15 years of the Sudanese Dinar.

The Dinar was seen by some as representative of Arab hegemony in Sudan and dropped as a stipulation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed by North and South Sudan in 2005, ending more than two decades of civil war between the neighbours. The return to the Sudan Pound was resented by some in North Sudan.

In 1993 Sudan became the world’s biggest debtor to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. It is US$40 billion in debt and subject to trade sanctions. Talk of removing North Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, which entails US sanctions, with the successful secession of South Sudan, has become hushed as the atrocities in South Kordofan remain unabated.

The Sudanese Pound is not accepted in many places outside its borders.

In South Sudan much business is carried out in US$ and Kenyan Shillings, but a viable currency would be a great boost to the country’s attractiveness to investors and would boost the economy.

The South Sudan pound will be printed by the UK company, De La Rue, the world’s largest provider of currencies, which also prints the British Sterling. The UK government prevented the company from sending US$1.4 billion worth of currency to Libya in March this year.

The watermark on the notes depict John Garang, the founder of the resistance movement which has led to the independence of South Sudan.

The head of the South Sudan Central Bank said today that negotiations were to take place with North Sudan to redeem the value of the Sudanese Pounds, currently in circulation. The South Sudan Pound is expected to be of equal value to the Sudanese Pound.

If South Sudan floods the North Sudanese market with Sudanese Pounds, it could have a crippling effect on its economy.

North Sudan told the South of its plans to discontinue the Sudanese Pound after secession, in February of this year.

The Sudanese Pound has been dropping in value on the black markets of Khartoum.

The economies of North and South Sudan are inexorably linked by oil – the most important source of revenue for both states. The peace agreement they signed, ending for than two decades of civil war, in 2005, stipulated that oil revenues be split 50/50.

North Sudan’s economy is shrouded in uncertainty as it stands to lose billions of dollars generated by oil revenues. More than 70 percent of the 500,000 barrels of oil produced by what was the country of Sudan, are produced in South Sudan.

With the conclusion of the peace agreement by the secession of South Sudan, division of the revenue remains unresolved.

This year saw North Sudan’s parliament approving an austerity package which included cuts on subsidies for sugar and petro-products. As a result, prices of vital commodities soared and the public started to feel worsening economic conditions.

North Sudan also effectively devalued its currency to prevent it from sliding further against the dollar as inflation increased steadily in the run-up to South Sudan independence.

Bashir said that the austerity measures his government adopted were only “a precursor” to a three-year “emergency plan his government devised to counterbalance the budget deficit resulting from the loss of oil."

He told legislators that his government would propose to them a bill on modifying the current budget in order to accommodate the changing circumstances.

However, he said that the new bill would not include any new taxes.

South Sudan has suggested that it may build an alternative pipeline to the coast of Kenya. This project will be very costly and time consuming, but having North Sudan within arms reach of the tap to South Sudan’s main source of income offers it what many Southern Sudanese view as dangerous leverage.

Al-Bashir says Abyei dispute could lead to war with South Sudan

July 12, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – President Omer Al-Bashir of Sudan has reiterated claims to Abyei, warning that any attempt by the new state in South Sudan to impose a unilateral reality in the hotly-contested region could potentially lead to war with the North.

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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 9, 2011 (REUTERS PICTURES)

Speaking to the BBC’s Hardtalk interview program broadcast on 11 July, Al-Bashir said his government had divided Sudan for the sake of peace, and that they have no intention of going back to war unless compelled to do so.

However, he warned that any attempt by South Sudan to impose a unilateral reality in the oil-producing region of Abyei may prompt the North to pick up arms against the new state, citing the example of May’s takeover of Abyei by North Sudan army in retaliation for an attack allegedly carried out by Southern troops.

South Sudan, which also claims ownership Abyei, gained full independence from the North on 9 July, having voted almost unanimously to secede in a referendum held at the start of this year. The vote was stipulated under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which established peace between the North and South after half a century of intermittent civil wars.

Abyei has been a major point of contention in the implementation of the CPA. The region’s status was supposed to be determined via a plebiscite in January 2011. However, the vote stalled as North and South Sudan failed to agree on the criteria for eligibility to vote.

North Sudan insists that members of the Arab, cattle-herding tribe of the Missiriya, who traverse the borders into Abyei for a few months a year to graze their cattle, should be allowed to vote, while the South contends that only members of the Dinka Ngok community should vote.

Al-Bashir told his interviewer Zainab Al-Badawi that Abyei remains an “integral part” of North Sudan despite an agreement his government signed with South Sudan last month to fully demilitarise the region and deploy Ethiopian peacekeepers to monitor security in the area.

The Sudanese leader confirmed that the country’s army would redeploy out of Abyei as soon as the 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers arrive in the region.

According to Al-Bashir, peacekeepers of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which was established to monitor the CPA-mandated ceasefire in Abyei, completely failed to assert security in the region.

He said that the government wants UNMIS peacekeepers to leave the country, expressing confidence that their Ethiopian substitutes are more capable and trusted by both North and South Sudan.

Under the Addis Ababa agreement on Abyei, which was facilitated by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP), North and South Sudan agreed to establish a joint committee to manage Abyei after Al-Bashir dissolved the region’s administration following the army takeover.

South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, pledged during his speech in the independence ceremony to continue talks with North Sudan to resolve outstanding issues. North Sudan, which declared recognition of the south’s independence, pledged to do likewise.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Saturday urged North and South Sudan to return quickly to the negotiation table in order to thrash out post-independence arrangements, including the status of Abyei.

Sudan’s Bashir inaugurates North’s embassy in South, calls on US to lift sanctions

July 10, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir today inaugurated the first embassy for the North in Southern Sudan as the latter joined the international community as the world’s newest nation.

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Sudan’s President Omer Hassan al-Bashir addresses the Independence Day celebrations in South Sudan’s capital Juba, July 9, 2011 (Reuters)

In an address at the South’s independence ceremony in Juba, Bashir called for coming up with creative political thinking to resolve the outstanding issues that are part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

The Sudanese leader noted the importance of reaching arrangements that considers the joint border strip between the North and South. He also hailed the recent accord signed in Addis Ababa between his National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) saying it enforced security for citizens on either side.

Bashir also commended the work of the African Union (AU) panel headed by former South African leader Thabo Mbeki who is mediating between the North and South.

However, the Sudanese president affirmed his government’s rejection for the extension of the mandate of United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) despite pressure from Washington on Khartoum to allow its presence in several flashpoints including Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

“UNMIS mission is over and we thank them for what they have done,” he said.

South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar speaking at the event described Bashir as “brave man of peace”.

But Bashir also expressed regret over failure of the North’s strategy to make the South opt for unity as part of his vision for a united Africa. He stressed however, that he respects the choice made by Southern citizens at the referendum held last January which resulted in a near unanimous vote in favor of secession.

“In the name of all the people of Sudan I tell the people of Southern Sudan that we will be your support to bypass the bitterness of the past and our hope is that with your resources that you can move ahead and we are confident that you are aware of the challenges and able to overcome them” Bashir said.

He urged the US administration and international donors to fulfill their pledges by lifting sanctions and providing money for development projects for infrastructure.

The NCP in a separate statement said that July 9 will be a date remembered by the North and South as they establish new dreams for building their states on the basis of humanitarian links.

It further emphasised that the party has been committed to the full implementation of the peace accord based on its long-standing conviction that peace is the ultimate goal that deserves any price paid for it.

Pictures: Declaration of the Republic of South Sudan July 09 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. welcomes birth of new nation, South Sudan

A female priest blesses a child as she prays in front of a statue of the late Southern Sudan rebel leader and first Vice-President, during a ceremony to celebrate South Sudan's independence from Sudan, in the capital Juba, July 9, 2011.

(Credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Declaring the "birth of a new nation," President Barack Obama welcomed the creation of the new state, the Republic of South Sudan, which was negotiated six years ago after a bloody civil war by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.

"A proud flag flies over Juba and the map of the world has been redrawn," Mr. Obama said in a statement recognizing the new country. "These symbols speak to the blood that has been spilled, the tears that have been shed, the ballots that have been cast, and the hopes that have been realized by so many millions of people. The eyes of the world are on the Republic of South Sudan. And we know that southern Sudanese have claimed their sovereignty, and shown that neither their dignity nor their dream of self-determination can be denied."

Obama statement on Republic of South Sudan

The world's newest nation, which is the size of Texas, will become the U.N.'s 193rd country, with Powell, President Obama's U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon among the dignitaries present for the ceremony in the capital Juba.

Oil rich, with $12 billion of oil revenue since 2005 (when the split with the North was negotiated), South Sudan started anew today, with a population that is desperately poor and still reliant on the North to transport its oil. It is hopeful that a September conference - offered by President Obama - will bring resources and relations to the country.

Declaring independence is a heady experience - Americans knew that back in the day, and it was visible again today, as the new President Salva Kir Mayardit (a former rebel in the Sudan civil war) spoke of the goals of South Sudan - to be democratic, inclusive and accountable - as he cautioned against corruption, which has been rampant.

The hope of the new Republic of South Sudan is that the civil war which took two million lives and raged for two decades between the north (which includes Darfur) and the south is over, and that peace will mark the region now that the predominantly Arab Muslim north and the African Christian south are separate states.

South Sudan's declaration of independence was achieved because of a U.S.-supported agreement brokered six years ago by the Bush administration, and the hope in Juba is that the U.N. (which authorized a peacekeeping force on Friday) and the U.S. will be able to find the resources to help South Sudan get on its feet.

The expectation of South Sudan is that it can prosper now that it is separated from the rogue north - which is under U.S. and U.N. sanctions, and which is run by Omar al-Bashir (also present at today's ceremony), whom the International Criminal Court is waiting to try if he is turned in because of his role in crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.

Declaring "we the people," South Sudan's new President Kir Mayardit certainly has based his expectations on help from Washington and the international community. Time will tell if the new republic will be able to stand on its own.

South Sudan Celebrates Independence
 
People dance on top of a car during South Sudan's independence day celebrations in Juba, July 9, 2011

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in South Sudan's capital for celebrations marking the new nation's independence.

South Sudan officially became the world's newest country at midnight local time Friday.  Residents of the capital, Juba, celebrated with parties in the streets.

A huge crowd has now assembled at a stadium in Juba for the formal declaration of independence.

Scheduled speakers at the event include U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the president of northern Sudan, Omar al-Bashir.  Bashir flew into Juba Saturday.

Southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly to split from the north in a January referendum.  The vote stemmed from a 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan's two-decade civil war.

Already, South Sudan has been recognized by its northern neighbor.  Sudan's minister for presidential affairs, Bakri Hassan Saleh, made the official announcement Friday on state television.

Saturday's ceremonies in Juba will include a proclamation of independence, the raising of the new South Sudanese flag, and the swearing-in of South Sudan's first president, Salva Kiir.

The celebration takes place at the John Garang Mausoleum - named after the leader of southern Sudanese forces during the long civil war.  Garang died in a 2005 helicopter crash.

Saturday's festivities belie the challenges the new nation will soon face.

South Sudan is still trying to disentangle itself from the north, and the two sides have yet to resolve issues on borders and oil revenue.  Sudan's army is currently fighting pro-southern Sudan elements in the northern-controlled state of Southern Kordofan.

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council approved a new peacekeeping force for South Sudan.  The force will have up to 7,000 troops and 900 civilian police.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

World leaders, South Sudanese celebrate world's newest nation

Juba, Sudan (CNN) -- World leaders gathered in South Sudan to celebrate the world's newest nation Saturday, hours after jubilant crowds draped in flags danced down the streets chanting "freedom" in a boisterous midnight party.

AP South Sudanese celebrate independence at midnight in Juba. South Sudan became the world's newest nation early on Saturday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and other leaders will attend the independence day events.

Al-Bashir said this week he is making the trip to convey "brotherly relations" between his government based in the north and South Sudan.

Hours before rows of planes carrying leaders landed at the airport, honking cars rolled through the streets as passengers danced and banged on cans to mark independence day.

"This is liberation, a new chapter," said Abuk Makuac, who escaped to the U.S. in 1984 and came back home to attend the independence day activities.

"No more war. We were born in the war, grew up in the war and married in war."

South Sudan's sovereignty officially breaks Africa's largest nation into two.

It is the result of a January referendum in which South Sudan voters overwhelmingly approved the split.

The referendum was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war that pitted a government dominated by Arab Muslims in the north against black Christians and animists in the south.

The war left 2 million dead and created a generation of refugees who drifted in and out of neighboring countries -- many on foot -- to flee violence and famine.

Amid the independence celebrations, some residents paid tribute to relatives killed in the long war.

"It is very emotional. I'm excited, but I'm also thinking of all the people who died for this to happen," said Victoria Bol, who lost dozens of family members.

Challenges await the new nation once the independence excitement wears off.

The world's newest nation is among the poorest, with scores who fled the long conflict coming home to a region that has not changed much over the years.

The infrastructure is still lacking -- with rare paved roads in the new nation the size of Texas. Most villages have no electricity or running water.

South Sudan sits near the bottom of most human development indices, according to the United Nations, including the world's highest maternal mortality and female illiteracy rates.

Although the north has flourished, the south has not changed much over the years, said South Sudan native Moses Chol.

"They have schools and clean water, and their children are not dying of simple diseases," Chol said, referring to the north. "In the south, people still drink stagnant water. They have nothing."

There is also the threat of renewed fighting between the two neighbors.

Clashes have erupted recently in the disputed region of Abyei and also South Kordofan, a border area between the northern and southern regions that remains tense.

And despite the 2005 peace deal brokered by the Bush administration, forces aligned with both sides continue to clash.

Abyei was a battleground for decades in the brutal civil war between forces of both sides. A referendum on whether the area should be part of the north or the South has been delayed amid disagreements on who is eligible to vote.

The two countries look set to divorce in name only -- they have not reached an agreement on the borders, the oil or the status of their respective citizens.

South Sudan's U.N. mandate runs out Saturday with independence.

The U.N. Security Council, which voted to send up to 7,000 peacekeepers and 900 uniformed police to South Sudan, is expected to meet Wednesday to discuss U.N. membership for the new nation.

As dignitaries gathered in the new capital to celebrate the new nation, world leaders warned of a tough road ahead.

"Their economic prospects are dim unless the two sides can come to agreement on how to share precious resources, cooperate in other economic areas and together promote the viability and stability of each other," the U.S. special envoy to Sudan, Princeton N. Lyman, said in an editorial to CNN.

Lyman said both sides want food, education and security for their families.

"They want the freedom to be able to express their opinions, choose their leaders and become active participants in political and social life," he said.

South Sudan natives such as Makuac admit there are challenges ahead. However, she is pushing those thoughts to the back-burner for now.

"We have waited so long to get here ... I will worry about that later," she said. "This weekend, we celebrate."

South Sudan passes interim constitution amid concerns over presidential powers

July 8, 2011 (JUBA) - The Juba based South Sudan Legislative Assembly passed the long awaited interim constitution, giving more powers to president of the would be new independent state of the Republic of South Sudan on Thursday.

A woman holds the South Sudan flag during a rehearsal of the Independence Day ceremony in Juba July 7, 2011. (photo Paul Bank UNMIS)

The parliament ratified the draft interim constitution into the supreme law of the land two days before South Sudan formally declares its independence, after the majority of its citizens voted in January to create a nation of their own.

Speaking to the press on Thursday, Joyce Kwaje, the chairperson of the information, culture and communications in the parliament announced passage of the constitution.

Kwaje denied claims that the constitution gives excessive powers to the president of the Government of South Sudan, arguing that the constitution represents the will and rights of the people of South Sudan.

“I congratulate the people of South Sudan for exercising patience and trust they have in their representatives in the parliament to the pass the constitution”, said Kwaje declining further questions from the press.

Barnaba Marial Benjamin, minister of information in the Government of South Sudan also told journalists at daily press briefing in Juba that the new constitution has been passed, denying that it concentrates too much power in the hands of the president.

“The new constitution is out. It has been passed”, said minister Marial, adding that the views of the general public were gathered and considered before the new constitution was passed.

“People of the South Sudan were consulted through their representatives in the parliament. Extensive consultations with our people were made on the constitution and their views have been considered.”

Benjamin explained that the new constitution encourages a system of decentralisation, while reserving the voices calling for federalism, to be addressed in the next permanent constitution.

The constitution contains a provision allowing the transfer of the former members of parliament in Khartoum into the new parliament in South Sudan, regardless of their political parties. Members of the political parties elected in Khartoum state are also allowed to join their respective states in the south.

An additional 66 members from various political parties shall be appointed into the transitional assembly by the presidential decree as 30 other members shall be appointed into the new council of states, making the total 50 representative from various political parties.

In case the post of the president falls vacant within the first one year during the transitional period, the political party on whose ticket the president was elected shall nominate the successor within the 14 days and the elections shall be conducted to fill the vacant position of the president after one year.

A constitutional review committee shall be formed during the interim period to work on the permanent constitution.

CONCERNS AND CRITICISMS

The US-based Cater Center last week urged the ruling SPLM party to demonstrate strong commitments towards an inclusive and participatory governance in South Sudan. It appealed on the parliament to consider taking into account views from cluster groups and other stakeholders before to adopt the constitution.

in a statement released on 2 July, the Center said "The current draft of the transitional constitution contains a number of provisions that appear likely to concentrate power in the central government."

The opposition SPLM-DC said the Constitutional Review Committee dominated by the governing party process "delivered a one-party constitution tailored to fit the SPLM alone". It went further to say the dominant party even rejected the "meek proposals" of some opposition parties.

The SPLM-DC went to accuse the ruling party of maintaining the institutions elected last year saying such decision dishonours the resolution of power sharing agreed during the “All Southern Sudanese Political Parties Conference” held in Juba in October 2010.

The opposition party further says the adopted constitution "denies our people the federal system" by concentrating all the powers in Juba and allowing the President to relieve an elected governor or to dissolve a state legislative assembly.

The new constitution, under article 101 (R), allows the president to dissolve state legislative assembly and fire elected governors. The president can also declare war and a state of emergency without the prior approval of parliament.

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