Note: Normally I don’t condone the use of exclamation marks in blog titles but then again witnessing the birth of a new nation on July 9th isnt exactly a normal occurrence, innit?
Africa is in unprecedented celebration the proclamation of independence of the 54th African Nation, the Republic of South Sudan. After Sudan, Kenya became the next country to officially recognize the sovereignty of South Sudan and warmly welcoming it into the community of free States.
Unless you’re in your early 60s, chances are you’ve never witnessed any country let alone your own formally gain its independence and become a fully fledged Republic. So watching the birth of South Sudan on July 9th 2011 has no doubt trumped any another historic event in our generation’s history, including Wangari Maathai receiving her Nobel Prize as the first African woman or Barack Obama’s Swearing-In Ceremony as the first Kenyan African-American President of the United States.
That said, I hope our government does not tire in reminding the rest of the world just how instrumental Kenya was in South Sudan’s long and difficult road to independence. Through the framework of the IGAD peace processes, the AU and the UN General Assembly, Kenya literally held SPLM/A’s hand and remain loyal and true.
Yeah, we made you, R.O.S.S.
So in return, we will humbly accept eternal recognition and the building of strong bilateral ties between our two governments. You can bet our soon-to-be appointed Kenyan Ambassador to Juba will remind China, South Africa and the West that Kenya called “dibs” on the Southern SPLM/A waaay back in 2005 before South Sudan even existed. This Ambassador shall be vetted Mutunga-style and the PSC will no doubt settle on a suitable envoy who will
manage Kenya’s interests in South Sudan Equity Safaricom-style make in-roads into South Sudan and work together as good neighbours, friends and partners.
To H.E Gen. Salvar Kiir and the people of South Sudan, we would urge you to take advantage of your tabula rasa position to build strong institutions and develop robust laws that will lay the groundwork for peace and prosperity in your country.
I know being the new guy in town sucks because everyone is trying to give you advice all at once and shove their agendas down your throat. On behalf of everyone else, I would just like to say: we do it because we care.
Remember the words of Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon who summed it up in one line:
Also be mindful of the wise of words of Amb. Susan Rice, speaking on behalf of President Barack Obama, who said:
“For South Sudan, independence is not a gift you were given. Independence is a prize you have won. Yet even on this day of jubilee, we remain mindful of the challenges that await us. No true friend would offer false comfort. The path ahead will be steep and sometimes unforgiving but the Republic of South SUdan is being born amidst great hopes. We hope that you will be able to live in peace and justice with your neighbors heal the wounds of war and work with the government of Sudan to resolve swiftly and peacefully all outstanding issues in the CPA. All these will require leadership and accountability for democracy and development rest on the foundation of strong institutions devoted to the public interests. Law and justice rest on foundation of a political system free of corruption and fraud.”
Congratulations and Godspeed South Sudan!
PS: What a memorable year 2011 is turning out to be for Africa! First, the revolutions in North Africa, then South Africa joins BRIC, now South Sudan gains its independence!