RI Attends South Sudan's Independence Proclamation


President Susilo Yudhoyono has assigned Indonesian Ambassador to Sudan and Eritrea Sujatmiko to attend South Sudan proclamation of independence in Juba, Saturday. "Because of his tight schedule, the President has asked me to represent him to meet the invitation of South Sudan President Salwa Kiir Mayardit to South Sudan`s proclamation of independence on July 9, 2011," Ambassador Sujatmiko said Saturday. Ambassador Sujatmiko has already stayed in Juba a day before the proclamation. During his stay in Juba, the envoy is also scheduled to meet President Salva Kiir Mayardit to present a letter from President Yudhoyono to his South Sudanese counterpart. "Indonesia's presence in the event demonstrates the government`s recognition to the independence of the former autonomous region of Sudan as result of referendum held on January 9-15, 2011," he said. The ambassador hopes that two countries could forge sound bilateral relations in the future. Indonesia, which has close ties with Sudan, was an observer in the referendum process and welcomed the result. At least 22 heads of state and 20 ministers from various countries have confirmed their attendance in the proclamation. South Sudanese celebrated the birth of their nation on Saturday after voting for independence in a referendum under the terms of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of war. The new state has its capital in Juba and was officially recognised on Friday by the government of Sudan, based in Khartoum, hours before the formal split took place. According to the official programme, a formal Proclamation of the Independence of South Sudan will be read out by southern parliament speaker James Wani Igga at 11:45 a.m. (0845 GMT). Minutes later Sudan`s national flag will be lowered and the new flag of South Sudan will be raised. The underdeveloped but oil-rich new republic won its independence in the climax of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with the north. The Khartoum government was the first to recognise 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. (source: antara news)