South Sudan prez asks world support for new nation

Posted: September 25, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan


Associated Press
2011-09-24 04:46 AM
The president of newly independent South Sudan on Friday urged his northern neighbor to seek a peaceful solution to remaining border disputes between the two countries.

Salva Kiir also appealed to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly for their support as South Sudan faces the daunting task of building a nation from scratch.

"Even before the ravages of war could set in, our country never had anything worth rebuilding," Kiir said in his first speech before the world body.

"Hence we characterize our post-conflict mission as one of construction rather than reconstruction and we therefore hope that the overwhelming outpouring of support and sympathy that greeted our independence … will translate into tangible development assistance."

South Sudan became an independent state in July after seceding from Sudan and breaking free from the Arab Muslim government in Khartoum. The split marked a key shift for the largely Christian and animist southerners, granting them a homeland after decades of conflict against the north. They also inherited what had been Sudan’s largest resource _ oil _ in a windfall that left Sudan facing potential economic troubles down the line.

Kiir noted the remaining disputes with the Khartoum government, citing in particular South Kordofan state, which borders South Sudan.

Sudan maintains that the state is home to armed rebels backed by South Sudan and it has been the site of clashes between government troops and black tribesmen aligned with the south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. Many of South Kordofan’s residents fought for the south during the more than two-decade-long civil war against Khartoum.

Kiir said that the reinstatement by the Khartoum government of the June 28 agreement signed between the north and the south calling for the disarmament of the southern-aligned forces in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states "could go a long way in promoting the restoration of peace in the areas bordering South Sudan."

Three days after that agreement was signed in Ethiopia, Sudan’s president said his army would continue its operations in South Kordofan.

Kiir also urged Sudan to "consent to the speedy demarcation of the border" between the two countries, with the help of the international community.

The South Sudan president also said that while his nation inherited an abundance of oil, it would use that resource to diversify its economy, develop and work toward a goal of turning South Sudan into a regional agro-industrial powerhouse.

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