Eastern Equatoria State Members of Parliament at a swearing ceremony in May, 2010 [Photo-File]
In accordance with the roadmap resolutions adopted in October 2010 in a conference involving 24 political parties in the region, the parties will reconvene after the referendum to begin implementing the resolutions they agreed in principle and discussing details of arrangements on the future governance in the region.
In a preparatory joint meeting on Friday chaired by the Vice President, Riek Machar, who is also the deputy chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the secretariat of all the South Sudan political parties converged to prepare the agenda for Monday’s leadership forum meeting.
Machar explained that the President of the government of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, had called for the convening of the post-referendum leadership forum as stipulated in the resolutions and Final Communiqué arrived at in October 2010.
In her statement to the press following the preparatory meeting, the SPLM deputy Secretary General for Southern Sector, Ann Itto, who also participated in the meeting, revealed that the agenda for Monday’s meeting would include the referendum result and the roadmap for future governance as agreed in October last year.
It is also expected that insecurity in the region, especially which has recently erupted in Jonglei state, and the work on constitutional review commission to draft a future constitution will be high on the agenda.
Itto said it was important for all the political parties to move together for the coming period in order to collectively resolve the challenges ahead. She added that such a leadership forum meeting will enhance relations between political parties in the emerging independent country.
Machar said the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce, which he chairs, serves as a think-tank for the government as it requires the inclusion of members of all the political parties, civil society organizations and faith-based groups. Invitation letters have been sent requesting organizations to submit names of their representatives.
Earlier he revealed that the government had identified 59 objectives to achieve in the post-referendum period. Among the first is name of the new nation, flag, national anthem and coat-of-arms, which should be ready before the formal declaration and celebrations of independence on July 9.
It was announced by the government official spokesman, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, also a member of the Taskforce, that the name Republic of South Sudan, abbreviated as ‘RoSS’, has already been chosen as the name of the independent and sovereign state.
Other floated proposed names included Azania, Nile Republic and Cush, among others. The preferred ancient name ‘Sudan’, referring to the color black. The other floated name for a long time was the Biblical name ‘Cush or Kush’, which researchers say was originally taken from the Turkish language, which means ‘crazy birds.’
Other top priorities among the 59 objectives include strategy to mobilize recognition of the new independent state by member states in the international community as well as strategy to create a strong sense of national identity and unity among the people of South Sudan.