links about us archives search home
SustainabiliTankSustainabilitank menu graphic

Follow us on Twitter


Posted on on July 9th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

“We, the democratically elected representatives of the people, hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state,” speaker James Wani Igga said, reading the formal proclamation of independence.

That is how the 54th African State was born today – Saturday, July 9th, 2011.

In the south’s capital Juba, people on the corners of dirt streets waved flags and danced in the lights of car headlights, chanting “SPLM o-yei, South Sudan o-yei, freedom o-yei”.


At the stroke of midnight the Republic of Sudan lost around three quarters of its oil reserves, which are sited in the south, and faced the future with insurgencies in its Darfur and Southern Kordofan regions.

But nevertheless – North Sudan’s Khartoum government was the first to recognize the new state, hours before the formal split took place, a move that smoothed the way to the division of what was, until Saturday, Africa’s largest country.


On Saturday, South Sudan become a free and independent country. It is a well-deserved victory for its people. Under a 2005 American-backed political accord that ended two decades of civil war, the people of the mainly Christian territory voted overwhelmingly in January to secede from the Arab Muslim north.


and –…

and our own:…

Is Sudan secession: resolving divisions?

Actually South Sudan’s secession is a mixed blessing. While it gives
Southerners their long overdue right to self-determination, in the
north it leaves the centre-periphery dichotomy intact. This is
indicated in the wars that have erupted or are threatening to erupt in
that region. The unresolved conflict in Darfur gives the lie to the
notion that the north constitutes a homogeneous, unified entity, one
that will be at harmony after secession. Millions of Darfurians remain
displaced in camps in Sudan and in Chad, fearful of returning to their
homes amidst the genocidal violence that began in 2003. In eastern
Sudan, rebel groups continue to mount opposition to the Khartoum
government, demanding equal access to development and economic
redistribution for their region.

This year, one of the eastern rebel groups – the Federal Alliance of
Eastern Sudan – joined forces with the Justice and Equality Movement,
the largest rebel group in Darfur, to oppose the Khartoum government.

Furthermore, the violent clashes that have erupted in recent days
between the government and the Nuba people (many of whom sided with
the SPLM during the north-south civil war but who, under the new
borders, will fall under the jurisdiction of northern Sudan) also
suggest that these divisions are set to intensify.

The government is not likely to respond kindly to continuing
resistance from these northern groups, especially in the wake of
Southern secession. Smarting from the loss of the oil-rich South, and
fearful that other marginalized regions such as Darfur or the state of
South Kordofan (the Nuba’s homeland) will follow suit and demand
secession, the regime is consolidating its oppressive hold over the
north by violently quelling opposition and further curtailing
democratic rights. The atrocities now being committed by the
government in South Kordofan, not for the first time, are an ominous
indication of the lengths to which it will go to quash resistance.

then continue:

Still, celebrations in the capital, Juba, cannot obscure a sobering
truth: building a functional new country will take decades of hard
work. Responsibility falls primarily on South Sudan, but also on the
United States and the international community that shepherded it.


Africa’s 54th state is at the bottom of the developing world. Most
people live on less than $1 a day. More than 10 percent of children do
not reach the age of 5. Some 75 percent of adults cannot read.

Meanwhile, festering disputes between north and south are stoking
chaos in a land already bloodied by two million deaths in civil war.
Sudan on Friday became the first state to recognize South Sudan.
Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, author of the murderous war
in Darfur, said he would attend the festivities in Juba. But he also
said he would continue the fight that erupted last month against
forces loyal to the south in South Kordofan, an oil-rich region still
under Khartoum’s control. Mr. Bashir’s decision to order the United
Nations to withdraw peacekeepers from South Kordofan is deeply

Major elements of the 2005 peace agreement are unresolved — such as
which side will control the oil-rich region of Abyei, where fighting
has also broken out; citizenship protections for minorities; where
final borders will be set; how oil earnings will be shared (the south
has 70 percent of the reserves).

The two sides are dependent on each other. South Sudan needs the
north’s pipeline to get its oil to market. Sudan needs oil money to
help pay its bills. Both need foreign investment and the north needs
debt relief. They have a better chance of winning international
support if they are at peace.

As an incentive, the United States and its partners have offered to
convene an international conference in September for South Sudan. That
will allow South Sudan’s leaders to present their plans for
encouraging desperately needed private investment. Washington gave
Juba $300 million for education and housing and is promising more.
International assistance should go forward only if South Sudan works
constructively with Khartoum to bring stability to both countries.

The Obama administration, correctly, is not taking Sudan off its
terrorism list and normalizing relations until Khartoum fulfills the
peace deal and ends the conflict in Darfur. China, Sudan’s main oil
investor and arms supplier, should deliver a similar message to Mr.
Bashir, who is under war crimes indictment, instead of receiving him
with fanfare in Beijing and promising him new oil deals.

The international community must persuade the two sides to avoid war
and work to build a future for both Sudans.


Speaking at the event in Juba, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also made a pointed reference to the fact that the Sudan agreement has not been fully implemented. He referred to the situation involving Abyei as well as the violence in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states where he said the “voices of the people” have not been heard. “Let differences be resolved around the negotiating table,” Mr. Ban said.

On the other hand President Omar el-Bashir reminded the UN that UNMIS has a mandate only till July 9th and he wants it to leave. It can be assumed that the UN Security Council will have now to pass new resolutions in light of continuing fighting in North Sudan’s border provinces with Southern Sudan, and in Abyei, that should be part of Southern Sudan. What is China’s position on this – we ask?


Appointment of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan.

The British Foreign Secretary said in JUBA: “We congratulate the people of South Sudan on this historic achievement. It represents the triumph of peaceful negotiation over conflict and adversity, and is a moment of hope and optimism for the future.

In Britain we are proud to be among the first nations in the world to recognise the new Republic of South Sudan, and I thank His Excellency Salva Kiir Miyardit for his invitation to attend today. I offer you my heartfelt congratulations, Mr President, on behalf of my Prime Minister David Cameron and the whole of the British Government, as you become the first President of the Republic of South Sudan.

The Government of the United Kingdom stands with the people of South Sudan as they seek a future of stability and prosperity; one we hope of lasting peace with their neighbours, full integration into the region, and strong cooperation with Britain and other nations represented here today. We look forward to South Sudan taking its place as a full member of the United Nations.

We pay tribute to the enormous progress South Sudan has made since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement six and a half years ago. The 98% vote for secession in January’s referendum showed the unity of the people of South Sudan in their desire for self-government: today, that dream has become a reality.  And we remember all those who died or were bereaved during the conflict. Their sacrifices should redouble the determination of all of us to support a peaceful future for South Sudan.”

Dr Alastair McPhail OBE has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan.  Dr McPhail has been serving as Her Majesty’s Consul General (HMCG) in the capital, Juba, since March 2011 and will take up this appointment on 9 July 2011 when South Sudan secedes from Sudan (North).

Dr McPhail studied modern languages, particularly Russian, at the University of Otago and then completed a PhD in Russian at Edinburgh University.  After teaching Russian at Nottingham University and then working in publishing, Dr McPhail joined the FCO in 1994.  He has worked in a wide range of FCO positions, with a focus on political/military work, security, development and peace processes, especially in northern Iraq and Sudan.  Most relevant to his current role was Dr McPhail’s work on Sudan from 2000-2005, first as Head of the Egypt, Libya and Sudan Section in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, then as Head of the Sudan Unit – the UK’s interdepartmental team charged with supporting the Sudan peace process – and finally as the UK Special Representative for Sudan. Dr McPhail attended every round of the negotiations on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement from the first session at Machakos to the final session at Naivasha.

On his appointment as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan, Dr McPhail has said “I am delighted to have arrived in Juba to take up my post. This is an historic period for Southern Sudan and the United Kingdom is committed to supporting the peaceful and prosperous development of this new country. The upgrade of our mission to an Embassy is a key step in strengthening the relationship between our two nations. I look forward to the years ahead.”


Full name:                               Dr Alastair McPhail OBE

Married to:                               Jo McPhail

Children:                                  2 Sons, Angus and Callum

March 2011 – present            Juba, Consul General

April 2009 – Aug 2009            Bamako, UK Special Envoy to Mali and Head Crisis Management Team

Jan 2006 – Mar 2009             Rome, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission

April 2005 – Dec 2005            Full-time Language Training (Italian)

July 2004 – April 2005            UK Special Representative for Sudan

April 2002 – July 2004            FCO, Head of Sudan Unit

Sept 2000 – April 2002           FCO, Head of Egypt, Libya and Sudan Section, Near East and North Africa Department

Nov 1996 – Aug 2000             Ankara, First Secretary (Political/Military)

Sept 1995 – Nov 1996            Full-time Language Training (Arabic)

Sept 1994 – Sept 1995           FCO, Nuclear Weapons Desk Officer, Security Policy Department


From the US we have the following but not yet an announcement of the appointment of an Ambassador.

WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will travel to Southern Sudan this week as part of the U.S. delegation attending ceremonies marking the independence of the world’s newest nation.

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will lead the delegation to Juba, capital of the newly formed state of Southern Sudan. Residents in the south voted in a January referendum to break away from the north and will officially celebrate their independence on Saturday.

Colin Powell, Secretary of State under former President George W. Bush, was instrumental in brokering the 2005 peace accord between the north and south that stopped a two-decade civil war in Sudan and paved the way for the independence vote.

The United States backed the south’s push for independence, and the Obama administration had long said it would recognize Southern Sudan formally.

In March, Obama named Princeton Lyman his new special envoy to Sudan, tasking him with helping oversee the creation of an independent Southern Sudan. Lyman also will be part of the U.S. delegation at the weekend ceremonies.

Southern Sudan will be born one of the poorest countries in the world. It has only a couple of dozen miles of pavement, and literacy levels are low. But the south does have oil, and those in control of government funds appear to be growing in prosperity.

Others who will represent the U.S. in Juba include:

—Democratic Rep. Donald Payne, senior Democrat on the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights

—Brooke Anderson, deputy national security adviser and chief of staff for the National Security Council.

—Gen. Carter F. Ham, Commander, United States Africa Command.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment for this article