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Published 8th July 2011

Vol 52 No 14


South Sudan

The clock strikes zero

A policeman walks past a banner reading 'Bye-bye Khartoum' in Juba. Sven Torfinn / Panos
A policeman walks past a banner reading 'Bye-bye Khartoum' in Juba. Sven Torfinn / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

After the celebrations, the Juba government will battle to meet its people’s dreams and handle relations with Khartoum

History is made in Sudan this week. Dignitaries from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas flew into Juba, the makeshift capital of the new Republic of South Sudan, which will become Africa’s 53rd sovereign state and the world’s 194th on 9 July. The RSS (though some Southerners are calling it ROSS) is born to overwhelming public rejoicing, the culmination of a liberation struggle that officially dates beyond British colonialism to 1820, the eve of the Turkish invasion.


Abyei in limbo

Ethiopia’s peacekeepers will face heavy scrutiny as Khartoum and Juba differ over Abyei and the still undemarcated border

The Abyei Agreement signed by the Khartoum regime and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Addis Ababa on 20 June offers no respite for the more than 150,000 people cha...


The usual suspects

Jonathan’s new cabinet repays old favours and special interests with no concessions to a restive north

President Goodluck Jonathan shows little desire to impose himself on the country as the 36 state governors and the National Assembly jockey to push their nominees into the cabinet....



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

This month, Prime Minister David Cameron will make a flag-waving trip to Africa for British business. African governments want to know how much the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has changed policy from its Labour predecessor.

Cameron drew heavily on former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s manual on domestic political tactics, but he will tread a fine line between a return to traditional British diplomatic priorities and Blair’s Messianic enthusiasm for Africa and ...

This month, Prime Minister David Cameron will make a flag-waving trip to Africa for British business. African governments want to know how much the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has changed policy from its Labour predecessor.

Cameron drew heavily on former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s manual on domestic political tactics, but he will tread a fine line between a return to traditional British diplomatic priorities and Blair’s Messianic enthusiasm for Africa and ‘liberal interventionism’. Cameron’s decision to keep the Labour government’s promise to increase aid to 0.7% of gross domestic product played well with voters but is already under fire from Defence Minister Liam Fox as ‘unsustainable’ and the popular press is railing about claimed misuses of aid at a time of across-the-board budget cuts.

Foreign Secretary William Hague and Africa Minister Henry Bellingham want to bring back Africa policy to the Foreign Office but the well-financed Department for International Development and its Ministers, Andrew Mitchell and Stephen O’Brien, will dominate the Africa agenda for now. One concession to a more market-led view of Africa was the establishment of a unit in DfID to promote business in developing countries. Mitchell is just back from Libya where he discussed plans for post-Gadaffi reconstruction with the rebel Transitional National Council, while O’Brien was in Côte d’Ivoire, promising British involvement in reconstruction there.

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