I only heard about the new country of South Sudan on July 9th, the day it declared independence and haven't had time to write about them until now. The United Nations should be recognizing them as an official world country in the next couple of days. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of eight million people
In some places, including on the government website the name of the country is written Southern Sudan, but the official seal styles it as the Republic of South Sudan. I think the Southern Sudan references are from material describing the area before independence. They have a flag, a national animal (the secretary bird), a coat of arms, a national anthem (link plays music), a capital city (Juba) and a president. They're still using the currency and postage stamps of their northern neighbour, so I think getting mail through to South Sudan is going to be a bit like communicating with a friend when you only have the mailing address of her ex. And they've fought for twenty years over the divorce.
They say that a what a country really needs to be official is a sports team, a beer and an airline. It looks like South Sudan is getting right on that. They already have a football team, and it's even played a match already. They lost 3-1 to Kenya but it's not an offical result as they are still waiting on FIFA membership. I thought that a beer would be a no-brainer but they have a good excuse for not having one quite yet. The construction of their new brewery is a big deal because under the former Muslim regime, alcoholic beverages were outlawed. And they even have the beginnings of an airline , complete with a webpage that doesn't actually link to a booking database, just a form. The date of the maiden flight has not yet been announced, but Juba does have an airport with a paved runway (13-31), which was apparently closed on Independence Day but airlines didn't receive a NOTAM, possibly because of that communications via Khartoum thing. The Republic of South Sudan will have to join ICAO, at which point I suspect it will go straight on the list of countries in which one should avoid boarding an airplane at all costs. They're a very poor state with terribly low education and healthcare.
I met a pilot/AME recently who says he started the war in the Sudan. He was there years ago, when the Sudan had nothing of value to the rest of the world, and nothing to fight over internally but camels and goats. He was there surveying for oil. He also made a positive contribution to the national infrastructure because they discovered that he could fix things. He would call for taxi clearance at the airport and then have the clearance rescinded because the airport firetruck wasn't working. They possibly were looking for a bribe the first time, but he solved the problem by restoring the firetruck to working order, and after that there was always something that needed fixing.
I hope South Sudan gets what needs fixing fixed faster than it gets itself into new conflicts and problems. I don't suppose there's anyone reading this blog from there. Few in that country can read let alone have access to communication technology, but if you are, know that I wish your new country well. South Sudan has apparently applied for the internet country code .ss but a regime that collapsed sixty years ago has such a lock on those letters in some people's minds that it may be denied.
P.S. Beda Otwari, the Director of Administration and Human Resources for Southern Sudan Airlines is a Canadian.
I know you have a sweet new gig with Falcon or Eagle or some other animal but send off a resume to Beda! Who knows, maybe flying unairworthy 727s off of dirt strips is in your future lol!
This was so interesting (I followed all the links too). If anyone cares, I can add that the United States has recognized South Sudan as a sovereign and independent state.
I am enjoying your blog immensely and must commend you on the frequency of your posts, not much to do in the evenings up there huh?
I disovered your blog via Capt. Dave's FL390 so you know you have a lot to live up to!
Keep up the good work!
Dave from England (EGHI)
What a cool post! I have been enjoying your stories for years now, thx for writing up! Kris EPWA
I am lucky enough to be in South Sudan to experience their Independance Day! It is very interesting from a North Americian standpoint to witness something we take for granted. Judging by the attitude of the people who live here, I believe as long as the government doesn't go corrupt, stays out of war, they get an economy started and the citizens can start gaining employment they might have a chance. It will be cool in years to come to tell my kid and grandchildren, that I was in the capital city on the night of a country's first independence day!
Wow! ScurvyDog, please pass on my very best wishes to the citizens of the new land. Send me a picture or a story of the day and I'll share it on the blog.
Checked my stats: looks like Blogger thinks South Sudan is Kenya. I guess that's where the ISP is routed through, rather than Khartoum.
Funny you should post this as I'm reading it as light relief from an editing job I'm doing reporting on the situation South Sudan. Basically it says what ScurvyDog says, only in many, many more words and with some graphs.
Our internet provider is a Kenyan company. I have read your blog for many years and love your tales from the road as we have lived very similar careers. I have been keeping a blog of my personal experiences at http://talesfromtheclouds.blogspot.com/ . While I am not the writer you are, it has been a great way to let my family and friends know what is going on here.
South Sudan shows up in other arenas as well: amateur radio
I think this is my favourite article so far on the not immediately evident effects of adding a new country to the world list.
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