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Southern Sudan News

On the threshold of a new country

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Jan 13, 2011

(eTN) - First indications from Juba and other towns in Southern Sudan speak of overwhelming support to the "yes" vote by the population during the week-long independence referendum. All signals are now showing a green light, and when the results are formally announced, expected very soon, the countdown will begin towards full independence, expected within in six months from the starting day of the referendum.

Crowds in Juba, the Southern Sudanese capital city, and other towns and municipalities, were jubilent, already celebrating their independence from the oppressive regime in Khartoum, which treated the Southern Sudanese Africans like second- and third-rate citizens in their own country, which had literally enslaved them for generations, exploiting the South’s mineral wealth while giving back mostly in the currency of civil war, i.e., aerial bombings, indiscriminate warfare, and a near total lack of infrastructure and the destruction of the little there ever was, at least until the CPA was signed in early 2005 in Kenya.

However, the northern regime in Khartoum did little, if anything, to entice the South during the last 5 years to stay in the union and habitually dismissed complaints over cheating on the sharing of oil revenue, the creation ‚Äď or rather lack of creation of new infrastructure in the South - their ongoing support for criminal gangs and militias trying to cause havoc among the Southern population, while also constantly making threats against the Southern leadership overtly and covertly about "consequences," should the region indeed make good of their right to chose independence.

This, however, will all soon be a thing of the past, when the country, in a few months time, can raise their own flag for the first time, sing their own national anthem, and become the youngest country, not just in Africa but across the world.

On the threshold of a new country
Justice Chan Reec Madut, chair of Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau shows ballot / Pete Muller (AP)

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