July 9, 2011 by USA Post
But even as Obama praised the “birth of a new nation” after the official declaration of Southern Sudan’s independence, did not announce any immediate change in years of U.S. sanctions Khartoum in Sudan itself has been waiting to be lifted.
Obama’s statement came amid joyful celebrations in Juba, capital of the new republic of South Sudan, an underdeveloped oil producer. It won its independence in a referendum in January – the climax of a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war with the north.
“I am proud to declare that the United States formally recognizes the Republic of Southern Sudan as a sovereign and independent today, July 9, 2011,” said Obama. “Today is a reminder that after the darkness of war, in the light of a new dawn is possible.”
However, there remain serious tensions between north and south and the fractured region is now headed to a new period of uncertainty.
The leaders of North and South have yet to agree a list of issues, most importantly the line of the border, the ownership of the disputed region of Abyei and how they will handle oil revenues, the blood of both economies.
Obama made it clear that more work needs to be done.
“Lasting peace can only be achieved if all parties meet their responsibilities,” he said.
“The comprehensive peace agreement should be applied, the status of Abyei must be resolved through negotiations, and violence and intimidation in South Kordofan, especially by the government of Sudan must stop.”
The strategy of the Obama administration has been to provide financial and diplomatic incentives Khartoum in exchange for completing the north south divide in an orderly manner.
But Obama made no specific promise to get to the independence of Southern Sudan and pledged U.S. Partnership and the new nation in efforts towards security, development and good governance.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the independence of South Sudan marks an opportunity for Khartoum to show their commitment to resolve outstanding issues.
“By following the path of peace, the government of Sudan can redefine its relationship with the international community and ensure a more prosperous future for its people,” Clinton said in a statement.
Washington has had a trade embargo against Sudan since 1997 and also lists the country as a state sponsor of t*rror*sm. Khartoum has been hoping that Washington put an end to all sanctions, normalizes diplomatic relations and removes from the blacklist of Sudan against t*rror*sm.
However, U.S. officials remain concerned about the government’s heavy handling of insurgencies in Sudan in Darfur and Southern Kordofan.
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