Friday, July 15, 2011

Southern Sudan. Free at last?

July is turning out to be a historic month in many fronts. Last weekend July 9, 2011 witnessed the birth of the republic of Southern Sudan. The previous day had seen the final flight of US space shuttle program. End of US monopoly in space? Well the jury is NOT yet out on this one.

Back at home (Kenya) there has been lots of discussion of what this ‘new’ neighbour (South Sudan) means to us! Kenya was the host of the negotiation for the peace process and is home to many Southern Sudan. Going by what I have been hearing we seem to be expecting too much from this young nation. Considering it said to have a huge oil wealth and lots of resources which are yet to be mined.

Resent Events
Kenya is among the first nations in the world to recognise Southern Sudan and there has been talk of Southern Sudan joining the East African Community.

It is too early to judge what role Kenya is playing in the new Salva Kiir’s administration in Juba. But going by sentiments witnessed on television, NTV (Nation Television) Kenya wants to reap the peace dividends.

Major TV broadcasters cancelled their schedules to broadcast live the happenings in Southern Sudan. In fact I had gone home early expecting to watch some bit of live TV and the usual county madness of Lolani Kalu on NTV only to realise NTV had cancelled it’s county screening and moved to juba

So we were able to watch the pre and post independence celebrations of the people of South Sudan where also Kenyan elites had gone to witness the birth of the new republic.
Political pundits were also on TV giving their views on how the unfolding events were going to impact Kenya.
The dallies were also not left behind and Kenyan political differences were put aback and the headlines focused on Southern Sudan with tag line lines ‘Southern Sudan, free at last’.

So 1960’s in the region
So all of a sudden we get a feel of what our folks felt like in 1960’s going by the celebrations emanating from South Sudan. If a global happiness index is to be conducted then Southern Sudan would top the world rankings.

The Future and Destiny of South Sudan
I am happy to see the Sudanese who have been able to fulfil ‘the right to self determination’ and thus they have become the newest member of global states (193 according to UN).
However, the hard part of nation building has began and they young nation will be confronted by key questions such as;
  • How to undertake Nation building (How this new state is going to carry out the delicate process of nation building).
  • How to handle the issue of Abiyei (oil rich region)
  • How to use the oil resources.
  • Its relation with Kenya. How the new administration in Juba views Kenya and how it interacts with Kenya.
Nobel Peace Prize
As the South try a hand in nation building it would be good for the Norwegian committee to realise they extraordinary feat and perhaps reward the parties that secured the peace in this unstable region. Perhaps, the Somali’s might have been watching the events as they unfolded and might be convinced otherwise!

No comments: