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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sudan's Landmark Referendum

As I write this people are turning up in droves in Southern Sudan  to vote for what most are assuming will be for secession from the North.  By July we could be seeing a new introduction to the African continent, our youngest nation yet.  While we vowed not to further cause turmoil by redrawing the very inconsiderate lines that were once so callously decided upon on a table by European powers over a century ago, think that it is very brave of us as Africans to recognise that in the case of Sudan, Africa's largest country geographically,  it is too big and too culturally diverse to be kept as one.

For more information about the referendum and the circumstances surrounding it, the BBC has comprehensive coverage here that leads to other links and information.  Earlier in the week President Bashir, the current President of Sudan visited the South to express his support.  His views on the referendum are that "the work of freedom is just at its beginning, [He is] confident that the southern Sudanese people have the strength and spirit to succeed in that endeavour." He understands the South's need to divorce itself from the north but is also wary that they are not aware of the potential pitfalls and tribulations they will face as they forge their own future independent of the south.

Here is a video of him articulating his views further:

You can also read a summary of the interview at Al Jazeera.

You can also find out more about the Government of Southern Sudan at their official website. Salva Kiir was sworn in as President of Southern Sudan in April 2010. You can view a video of the ceremony here and his views on the referendum hours before calling for co-existence and peace with the North here.

Watch this for a quick profile President Salva Kiir:

May this be the beginning of real progress in solving the Sudan's North-South divide, whatever decision the people decide.  For the vote to be valid, 60% of registered voters have to participate.  I am glad that those overseas are also able to vote as well :).

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