Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Republic of Southern Sudan officially entered into the African Union

Just over a month after declaring its independence, the Republic of Southern Sudan on Monday officially joined the African Union (AU) as the member number 54. In a colorful ceremony held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, the new state's delegation, headed by its president, Salva Kirr, sang with emotion national anthem, which sounded for the first time on an international stage, and witnessed hoisting of the flag.

The AU chairman Jean Ping welcomed the Sudanese present in the phrase "Long live South Sudan," and urged the governments of Sudan's north and south to bet for a lasting peace and friendship. "We all know that there are still outstanding crucial issues faced by the Republic of Sudan and Southern Sudan," said Ping, to which responded Kirr making clear its willingness to maintain a good relationship with its northern neighbor.

"We reaffirm our commitment to live in peace with our brothers and sisters in Sudan," emphasized President of Southern Sudan, who admitted that his newborn country still has to face many challenges. Regarding the economy, Kirr promised to use "the oil money to promote agriculture and feed our people." Nearly two decades of civil war for the independence of South Sudan ended in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which the South held this year a referendum in which 98 percent of participants voted for the secession.

Southern Sudan declared its independence on July 9 and, shortly thereafter, applied for membership in the African Union, an organization that approved the July 26 entry of the new member country.

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