Monthly Archives: July 2011

Everyone wanted independence: history in this historic moment

Being a history student here in Juba is highly appropriate at the moment. The phrase ‘historic moment’ is being happily overused across the international press, and people in the bus yesterday morning were talking about a ‘new history’ for South Sudan.

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An Independent Republic of South Sudan

Elf mabrouk to the newest country in the world!

I’ve been in Juba for the celebrations, coming up from Kampala on a bus packed to the roof with returning Southerners travelling from Nairobi. Passports of all colours – predominantly USA blue – were produced at the border, but everyone was excited about becoming, finally, South Sudanese.

The week has been relatively tense in Juba, as concrete and tarmac sets slowly in the baking heat, huge numbers of police and soldiers set up road blocks and machine-gun posts all over town in four rings of security, and public transport shut down. Several arrests of foreign journalists meant I persuaded the Ministry of Information to give me a press pass to try to avoid problems with photography.

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Independence Day for the Republic of South Sudan

The Republic of South Sudan flag being raised

The Republic of South Sudan flag being raised

A long, hot day at Juba’s Garang mausoleum, listening to the reading of the independence act, the swearing-in of Salva Kiir Mayardit as President, and the raising of the flag.

I’ll write a longer post tomorrow about what’s been going on here.

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History in a historic moment

SPLA soldiers waiting for independence, 8 July 2011, Juba

SPLA soldiers waiting for independence, 8 July 2011, Juba

I’m in Juba, and busy being sweaty, sunburnt, excited and organising work.  So many references to history here, I feel right introducing myself as a history student.

the Gazette's front page story focuses on the "historiography" of independence

the Gazette's front page story focuses on the "historiography" of independence

 

the South Sudan Ministry of Energy and Mining's banners

The racial historical language of independence according to GoSS Ministry of Energy and Mining

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