In This Issue
Guests at the new Republic of South Sudan Independence celebrations in Juba, South Sudan, on July 9 2011. (Jenn Warren/USAID)
“Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, the light of a new dawn is possible. A proud flag flies over Juba and the map of the world has been redrawn... Together, we can ensure that today marks another step forward in Africa’s long journey toward opportunity, democracy and justice.” – President Barack Obama
“Independence presents a new beginning for the people of South Sudan; an opportunity to build a nation that embodies the values and aspirations of its people. The challenges are many, but the South Sudanese people have demonstrated their capacity to overcome great odds.” – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
“For South Sudan, independence is not a gift that you were given. Independence is a prize that you have won.” – Ambassador Susan E. Rice
Steps to the Referendum
A Bari community member holds the flag of southern Sudan during celebrations on the eve of their declaration of independence in Juba, southern Sudan, Friday, July 8, 2011. (AP Photo/David Azia)
The United States has been deeply engaged in Sudan, having led international efforts to broker the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and assist in the Referendum on independence for South Sudan. The United States has worked closely with the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) and international partners to achieve a transparent and successful outcome. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the two regions of Sudan was signed in January of 2005, ending decades of civil war. An independence movement was furthered by the South Sudan Referendum from January 8- 15, 2011. According to section 41(2) of the Southern Sudan Referendum Act “the Southern Referendum shall be deemed legal if at least 60% of the registered voters cast their vote,” meaning that 2,359,553 votes were necessary in order for the referendum to be declared legal. The referendum passed with 3,792,518 in favor of independence. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir stated that he would accept the outcome of the vote. The Republic of South Sudan became a sovereign state on July 9, 2011.
Celebration of Independence
Secretary Clinton: “This weekend, in Juba, South Sudan, Africa’s 54th nation was born. Millions of people are celebrating a new national identity and new national promise. Like on our own July Independence Day 235 years ago, there is reason to hope for a better future -- if the people and leaders of both Sudan and South Sudan commit themselves to the hard work ahead. This day was far from inevitable. For more than two decades, Sudan has been riven by intense fighting over land and resources. Just a year ago, talks between the Sudanese Government in the north and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the south had stalled. Preparations for a referendum on southern independence had fallen behind. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005 appeared close to collapse. A return to open conflict seemed likely.”
“Thankfully, people on both sides and across the world worked together to chart a different path.”
South Sudan: The Road Ahead
“...Just as independence was not inevitable, neither is a lasting peace between Sudan and South Sudan. Decades of war have left deep distrust on both sides and significant social, political and economic challenges. Both nations will have to take decisive steps to consolidate progress.”
“Peace and prosperity rest on the foundation of strong institutions devoted to the public interest. Law and justice rest on the foundation of a political system free of corruption and fraud. And education and public health rest on the foundation of a government dedicated to the well-being of all rather than the interests of a few. The same self-reliance that won your freedom can now move you from independence and self-determination to opportunity and democracy. South Sudan’s leaders, and the citizens who hold them accountable, now have the chance to create a state that stands out not for its flag or its currency but for the investments it makes in the development of its people.”
“Even as much work remains, I am proud that the United States has been in the forefront of this commitment. It will serve us well if there is peace in this part of Africa, if turmoil and human crises no longer dominate the scene and if we welcome a new partner in the search for a more stable and prosperous world.”
This email has been sent to you from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Public Liaison. For more information about us CLICK HERE.