Friday, 14 June 2013

Africa: World Gives Welcome to SOUTH SUDAN - Africa's Youngest State

The world today welcomes into the fold the youngest state in Africa when Southern Sudan finally gains independence from the larger Sudan.
Already hailed in some quarters as the party of the decade, celebrations would go into full swing in Juba, the designate capital of the newest state, which was born out of long-drawn-out negotiations to break what was hitherto the biggest country on the continent.
Tanzanians will join millions of other people around the globe in the celebrations that were already underway in Juba, and indeed throughout the formerly civil-war-ravaged territory.
The government is expected to send a high-powered delegation to mark the day alongside other dignitaries from around the world.
No government statement had been issued by last evening to confirm who would be in the Tanzanian delegation. Reports in Juba quoted officials there as saying that more than 29 heads of state from the region and in Africa confirmed they would be in attendance.
Notable personalities who had either arrived in Juba or were on the way to take part included UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. Ms Susan Rice, the US envoy to the United Nations, will lead the US delegation, the White House earlier announced.
Rice will be joined by Colin Powell, the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Donald Payne, US representative from New Jersey and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.
Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, and Princeton Lyman, the US special envoy to Sudan, also will join the delegation. The official events at the late John Garang's mausoleum in the capital Juba will include military parades, raising the Republic of South Sudan's flag and the signing by the new country's first president, Salva Kiir, of the transitional constitution.
Garang, the war hero for South Sudan, died in a plane crash soon after assuming office as vice president of the larger Sudan. He was succeeded by Mr Kiir.
Analysts see the independence as possibly the most significant development in modern African history since the end of apartheid nearly two decades ago.
It will be a symbolic turning point in the long running conflict in Sudan that has cost more lives than any other since the Second World War.
It will result in the breakup of Africa's largest country and significantly alter the political and economic boundaries of the East African Community, the continent's most cohesive regional bloc.

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