Africa is torn between high expectation and anxiety over its newest baby, the South Sudan .Personally, I am beaming with joy and pride as we – my country and I – embark on the journey of new beginnings. It is indeed a heady feeling, knowing that we are truly headed home. Looking back, we have indeed come a long way from January 9–15, 2011 where my people from South Sudan voted to break away from Sudan.
The results on January 30, showed categorically our desire to be the true master of our destiny - Sudan. The climax of this bold journey came to pass on July 9, when a formal declaration of independence was made ensuring that South Sudan becomes an independent state.
As the new dawn breaks for South Sudan, I cannot ignore the show of solidarity from regional and international players who have boldly announced that they intend to recognise South Sudan upon independence. Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa are carrying on the spirit of Pan - Africanism.
All five permanent United Nations Security Council member states have also vowed to recognise our new state; China, France, Russia, USA and UK. Some of these states, including the United Kingdom have announced plans to open embassies in Juba.
There are some states that have chosen to sharply voice their criticism, something that negates the very essence of brotherhood. The Presidents of Eritrea, Isaias Afeworki, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi oppose the independence of the south with the latter saying that the situation in Southern Sudan “could become a contagious disease that affects the whole of Africa.” In my express opinion, these leaders ought to critically analyse their stand point as this could heavily influence relations with South Sudan once it is up and running which as am optimistic it will be pretty soon.
Above all else, I urge my fellow brothers and sisters to uphold the spirit of tolerance and unity in order to permit this ‘baby’ to mature.
Ajok Bituk, Juba, Sudan
GREEN AGENDA IS STERLING
As an environmental specialist and enthusiast, I always look forward to getting my monthly ration of the Green Agenda serving. Therefore, allow me to give my two-cents on this exceptional subject that not only butters my bread but also allows me to be a partaker in the global stance on environmental conservation. It has been proven time and again that man is the single biggest threat to the environment. Evidence suggests that life on Earth has existed for about 3.7 billion years. This, by and large means we need to co-exist with other life forms including Mother Nature. The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species. The natural environment is contrasted with the built environment, which comprises the areas and components that are strongly influenced by humans.
Borrowing from Paul Odoto’s article on the Mau Forest complex as chronicled in your June issue, extensive areas of the Mau forest have been felled and heavily degraded. This loss is endangering a range of businesses, development initiatives and biologically important sites. The good news though is that all is not lost and I was happy to read that a joint multi-million project by the European Union, UNEP and Kenyan Government is underway to assist in the restoration of the north western part of the Mau forest complex.
Mau Forest Complex is an ecosystem providing homeland to countless communities and a wide range of biodiversity. Over the last decade, the highland forests of the Mau Complex have been heavily impacted by tree cutting; forest excisions and new settlements . Protecting and restoring the Mau Forest Complex will not only save the biodiversity but will also protect and promote future posterity.
Certainly good news!
Dr. Kihato Ririma, Environmental Scientist
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