opinionBy James Okuk
It shall be H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit to lower the Sudan flag and raise high our flag of the Republic of South Sudan on 9thJuly, 2011 at the Presidential Republican Palace in Juba since he is going to be the first President of the Republic of South Sudan as already agreed by the political parties of Southern Sudan.
It shall be the very GoSS and SPLM/A Flag which is being used now. Dr. Mayardit shall lift up this flag with honour on that greatest First Independent Day of South Sudan.
We shall have the 'Buffalo' as the "Coat of Arms (Emblem)" for South Sudan, and with "Motto" under its design written: 'Peace and Prosperity'. The current proposed "National Anthem" shall be amended to remove irrelevant attributes like the Land of Cush, Milk and Black Warriors. We shall get our ordinary "Black Passport" of the Republic of South Sudan, save for the diplomatic ones which should be red. Our "Nationality" shall be 'South Sudanese'. We shall have 'South Sudanese Pound' as our "Currency".
These are just some of my proposals with hope that most of them will be accepted and adopted sooner in the Countdown for South Sudan Independence in the remaining six months of the CPA interim period as we count-up from the fulfilled referendum exercise.
But when I was scrolling in the www.sudantribune.com I came across an article written by former Sudan Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Steven Wöndu, on January 15, 2011 and titled "Lend Me Your Ears." I thought it was a good article but to my disappointment it wasn't.
I think Ambassador Steven Wöndu should not mix his own tiny family and Embassy problem/troubles they had with US and UK immigration departments or banks with the right name of biggest South Sudan. Even Nigerians, Iranians, Syrians, South Koreans, Somalis etc., including their Ambassadors and Ministers face the same immigration problems in visa offices and airports of US, UK and other countries. This has nothing to do with the nomenclature of their countries, but the manner these countries govern themselves either in accordance with the civilized standards of respect for the dignity of human persons or in oppressive terroristic manner.
Likewise, the so-called Nile Republic of Ambassador Wöndu supported by his dear wife could also face the same problems/troubles if its leaders mess up with human rights civilization and invite sanctions upon themselves and their citizens in future. Ambassador Wöndu could still be prevented to wire money to US or UK or get a gratis visa when sitting in his office in his Nile Republic Embassy any where. This is a fact for a fiction.
What I would like to kindly remind Steven Wöndu is that the name South Sudan is historical. It did not begin with the NIF/NCP regime who invited the US, UK and others' sanctions and alerts on the citizens of the Sudan. South Sudan was there even before the Sudan was still a sweetheart to US, UK and other countries. South Sudan was already there during the European scramble for Africa in Berlin. South Sudan was also there during the British Colonialists "Closed District Ordinance." South Sudan was there in the historical 1947 Juba Conference. South Sudan was there in the historical 1955 Torit mutiny and rebellion. South Sudan was there during 1965 Round-table Conference.
South Sudan was there during the initial historical 1982-1983 rebellions even when the vague "New Sudan" ideology was imposed later on our liberation strugglers by late Dr. John Garang de Mabior and his friends. South Sudan was there during 1991 SPLM/A split into Torit and Nasir factions with the resultant tactic of peace from within with Khartoum. South Sudan was there during 1992 Frankford Agreement on Self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan. South Sudan was there during the 1994 Chukudum SPLM/A First Convention. South Sudan was there during the 1994 IGADD Declaration of Principles. South Sudan was there during 1994 Asmara Declaration on Self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan. South Sudan was there during 1997 Khartoum and Fachoda Peace agreements, which constitutionalized for the first time in the history of the independent Sudan the right of self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan. South Sudan was there in the 2005 CPA and its implementation (including wealth and power sharing that gave way for Steven to become a Sudan Ambassador in Japan), which has landed the people of Southern Sudan into the land of long-awaited independence.
All along the history of the struggle for the freedom and independence of South Sudan there was nothing called Nile Republic. Let any body who wants to temper with the historical name of South Sudan keep any wrongly suggested names to himself before the blood of its unforgettable martyrs pour out from the graves to curse him/her forever.
I have no doubt that the secession and independence of South Sudan could be a blessing to the lifting of sanctions in the Sudan and for a better relation with it as a good unavoidable neighbor. We should even work hard for these sanctions to be lifted quickly because of some interests we have with the Sudan regarding the agreement on four freedoms for our citizens there and vise versa: the right to work, reside, own and move freely between the two countries. Other rights could be agreed and granted too, who knows.
The hatred attitude Mr. Ambassador Wöndu wants to implant between the South Sudan and the Sudan after the secession is officially declared and recognized worldwide, is undesirable and unacceptable by all measures. The name of the separated Southern Sudan from Northern Sudan should be the Republic of South Sudan for history sake and for the honor of the 4 million lives and blood spilled to achieve its independence and dignity.
Dr. James Okuk is reachable at email@example.com