Southern sunrise | World | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Internet revolutionary
    July 6, 2013
    Wael Ghonim proves uprisings too can be 'liked, shared & tweeted'.
  • Taking a stand
    July 6, 2013
    The Standing Man of Taksim Square helped revive the spirit of Turkey protests.
  • Gun to the head
    June 29, 2013
    For Pakistan, it's time to harp on 'the Kashmir issue' again, this time with clear linkages to the mess in Afghanistan.
More in this Section
Profiles
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
World's Newest Nation

Southern sunrise

|


NEW BEGINNING South Sudan's president Salva Kiir Mayardit and Sudan's president Omar Hassan al-Bashir wave to the crowd during the Independence Day ceremony in Juba

July 9, 2011 saw the birth of the world's newest nation, South Sudan, which carved its place out in a particularly restive part of Africa. As Salva Kiir Mayardit took oath as the first president of the republic, the new nation not only gratefully savoured its first moments of independence but also remembered with sadness the more than two million people who sacrificed their lives for this very moment. Tears rolled down the cheeks of many that day.

The journey to nationhood wasn't easy, independence coming at the end of a conflict that was almost medieval in its brutality. Historically, unified Sudan had been entwined with Turkey and Egypt till the advent of the British in the 19th century. After that, it was jointly governed by Egypt and Britain with the south under the latter. In 1946, the north and south were merged. The southerners were not consulted. They were Christians, a minority, and feared the influence of the culturally Arabic north. Internal tensions heightened when Sudan got independence in 1956 and the north reneged - all the oilfields so vital to Khartoum were in the south - on its commitment of creating a semi-autonomous federal government in South Sudan. The south, thus alienated, rose in rebellion and the first rebel group, Anyanya 1, was born.

Seventeen years of strife followed. In 1972, a tenuous peace was brokered but conflict broke out again in 1983 with the Anyanya 2 now in command. As Khartoum continued to brutally alienate the south, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) was formed.

A conflict within the conflict led to more bloodletting. SPLM finally emerged victorious, but it would take another 22 years of violence before a semblance of internal tribal unity could be achieved and the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement hammered out. South Sudan could now choose to break away or stay after a referendum. This technically ended the civil war but sporadic battles continued. The referendum, held in January this year, saw a 100 per cent turnout and the verdict was for a secession from the north. The 10 states of the south that held the referendum would now form the new nation of South Sudan. Juba, a town on the White Nile, was to be the new capital.

And hence this moment in history.

Juba was given a facelift. Volunteers fanned out in the streets with brooms and brushes and even the bullet-ridden stadium was given a new coat of paint.

As the celebrations ended that day, the South Sudanese probably remembered one other person apart from the millions martyred in their quest for nationhood. That was President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of the erstwhile unified Sudan who, although reluctantly, gave in to the demand for nationhood and brought to an end decades of civil war. Fittingly, he was the guest of honour that day.

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com

Networking

itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Hotklix
Services
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service