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Major Backing For South Sudan

  • July 9th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

south-sudan-indep.jpgThe European Union has lined up with money and goodwill as the weekend independence celebrations run on in the world’s newest country – South Sudan.

SUPPORT FROM EUROPE

Its High Representative, Catherine Ashton, joining dignitaries from several countries in the capital, Juba, declared: “The European Union stands together with the people of South Sudan on this historic day, and we will be a reliable partner for the future.”

In the background was apprehension and dismay at continuing violence along parts of the still-unresolved border between the new country, and Sudan to the North.

“We will continue to support a peaceful transition in South Sudan … The EU is committed to long-term peace and stability in the two Sudans and urges them to live together peacefully as two viable states”, said Baroness Ashton.

(The EU has taken a lead also in sending urgent air to North Korea. The executive Commission announced, 4.7.11,  it was giving EU €10-million -AS13.25-million- to the World Food Program and Save the Children, to buy food, particularly for children facing starvation, mothers, hospital patients and the elderly. It said it had received assuirances the money would go to the intended recipients, in a crisis within the communist country, following extremes of weather destroying crops- both drought and floods. Other potential donors including Japan and the United States have stood back at this time, because of ongoing difficult relations with the Pyongyang government.)

VAST COUNTRY, CONFRONTING TASKS

south-sudan-flag.jpgA vast landlocked country with at least 8.25-million people (the census disputed because of  concerns over political meddling with figures); South Sudan has suffered most of the ills of  many independent states of the last 50 years, and few of the advantages.

Weighed down by extreme poverty and all that accompanies it, the country endured the two Sudanese civil wars of the 1970s and 1980s, with estimates of some two-million killed.

south-sudan-misses.jpgIndependence was decided on at referendum under the terms of a ceasefire in 2005; aimed at finally settling relations between the non-Islamic South, and Islamic North governed from Khartoum.

Sharing the key resource, the black gold, or black curse of oil, to extract and export the commodity, then share the proceeds equitably, is a first problem.

Development efforts begin where there is a dearth of infrastructure or civil administration, in harsh territory where the divisions of the last civil war were aggravated by persistent crippling drought.

The European Union Plans to shortly upgrade its representative office in Juba, to promote all aspects of its policy towards the new state, in the areas of political and diplomatic recognition, security and the rule of law, development, trade, and human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Since the 2005 ceasefire it has committed €650-million (A$862-million; xe.com, 9.7.11) in development assistance to Sudan, 45% of that to the South. In the Humanitarian assistance category, €776-million (A$1029-billion). Has been sent since 2003, and an addition al €200-million (A$265-million) committed top a development plan for South Sudan. – focused on  education, health, agriculture, food security and democratic governance.

CELEBRATIONS IN AUSTRALIA

The Australian government is contributing A$16-million for basic services towards South Sudanese independence.

The days was celebrated throughout Australia by members of the Sudanese community, which has seen ten years of expansion, especially due to immigration under the national Humanitarian program.

Some 20000 were counted in 2007, with the number growing by a third each year.


Reference

Australian Government (Immigration), Canberra, “Sudanese Community Profile”, 2007. http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/delivering-assistance/government-programs/settlement-planning/_pdf/community-profile-sudan.pdf, (9.7.11).
CIA, Washington, World Fact Book-Sudan. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/su.html, (9.7.11).

EC, Brussels, “Catherine Ashton travels to South Sudan for Independence Day”, 8.7.11.
IP/11/851

Financial Channel, Tbilisi/Kiev, “Catherine Ashton travels to South Sudan for Independence Day”, 8.7.11. http://finchannel.com/news_flash/World/90448_Catherine_Ashton_travels_to_South_Sudan_for_Independence_Day/, (9.7.11).

Maev Kennedy, “Europe to send urgent food aid to North Korea”, The Guardian, Manchester, 4.7.11.

The Irish Times, Dublin, “Hope reigns supreme in new nation of South Sudan”, 9.7.11. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0709/1224300390877.html, (9.7.11).

Pictures  Miss South Sudan, forum.xcitefun.net; flagspot

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