Indonesia Recognizes the Independence of South Sudan


South Sudan has officially become a new established country after the reading of its proclamation text by the Chairman of the Parliament of South Sudan, James Wani Igga on 9 July 2011 at 2 in the afternoon. Hundreds of Sudanese citizens witnessed the birth of their new country. They arrived from various places and gathered in the burial ground of John Garang, a hero of South Sudan. The event overflowed with simultaneous hysterical cries and joyous singing from morning to evening despite the blazing sun and severe weather. The birth of South Sudan celebration was also attended by 17 Heads of State, the majority of whom came from African countries, including the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki; the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe; the President of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi; and the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang. Also attending were the President of the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary General as well as a number of minister-level officials from various countries, including the Indonesian Ambassador to Sudan and Eritrea, Dr. Sujatmiko, representing the President of Indonesia. The first President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, who was officially inaugurated by the Chairman of the Parliament of South Sudan during the event, expressed: “Today is the most historical day for the citizens of South Sudan, which will always be remembered.” “I thank all of the heroes who died ahead of us, and for all the rebels and old enemies, I will grant them amnesty,” said Salva Kiir which was immediately followed by applause from the citizens. The President of Sudan, Omer Hassan Ahmed El Bashir, in his speech congratulated South Sudan and promised to continue to establish cooperation with this 54th African country. Al Bashir also demanded the United States and European countries to fulfill their end of the bargain which has not been fulfilled. “Sudan has fulfilled its commitment towards the realization of peace. We also have implemented the Naivasha Agreement (Comprehensive Peace Agreement/CPA). It is now the time for international society and the African Union to fulfill their promise. It is also the time for the United States to lift their unilateral sanctions against Sudan,” demanded El Bashir. “As a country that highly honors democratic values, Indonesia congratulates South Sudan for its declaration of independence which was achieved by means of a democratic referendum process in January 2011,” stated the Indonesian Ambassador to Sudan and Eritrea, Dr. Sujatmiko. According to him, Indonesia’s recognition of South Sudan’s independence is not without any reason. “Firstly, not less than 17 Heads of State, more than 30 minister-level officials, and tens of foreign Ambassadors accredited by South Sudan as well as the leaders of international and regional organizations including the UN, European Union, Arab League and African Union were attending the event.” “Secondly, the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN General Assembly in their welcome speech stated that in the near future, the country (South Sudan) will be accepted as the 194th member of the UN. Such actions show how tremendous was the international support given to the birth of this 54th African country,” he highlighted. “Thirdly, North Sudan has indeed recognized the independence of its former region. Such recognition was proven by the presence of Sudanese President Omer Hassan Ahmed El Bashir and several ministers of North Sudan in the event. He even emphasized in his speech that South Sudan will be the main partner of North Sudan in the future,” added Sujatmiko. In the context of Indonesia’s interests, Sujatmiko wished for the establishment of mutual bilateral cooperation in all fields with South Sudan in the near future. “Indonesia and South Sudan have great cooperation potentials. Indonesia has the expertise and experience in agriculture, petroleum and democracy that a new country like South Sudan needs. On the other hand, Indonesia can benefit from the potentials South Sudan has, especially in the field of petroleum, for our national interests,” he continued. The independence of South Sudan is the result of a referendum held on 9-15 January 2011 with the percentage in favor of independence reached 98, 81%. The referendum was a follow-up of the CPA signed in Naivasha, Kenya on 9 January 2006. The Republic of South Sudan has 10 states with a total size similar to France and 8 million inhabitants. The majority of its citizens are Africans practicing Christianity and animism. The major income of this country comes from its petroleum and agriculture