Tuesday, July 12, 2011
JULY 12 SOUTH SUDAN IS THE WORLD'S NEWEST COUNTRY
It was party time last Saturday night in the Central African city of JUBA...especially at 12:01 am (East Africa Time). Fireworks, sirens, air-horns and million drums deafened eardrums as the city erupted in joy and jubilation. As determined in a vote in January, JULY NINTH, 2011 would be the first Independence Day for the new nation of SOUTH SUDAN. Oyee!
You're probably asking yourself: Does the world really need a new country? Isn't 224 countries enough? Well, the real problem is the British and French drew up some pretty stupid "countries" one hundred years ago....and some of the borders simply must be re-drawn. Let's face it: When 98.83% of the population votes to secede, everyone worldwide just has to suck it up and learn about a new nation.
But don't worry! We here at the DUNER BLOG are here to help and will now answer some questions about SOUTH SUDAN submitted by readers.
With a quarter of its area gone, is Sudan still Africa's biggest country? -- Jeffrey, San Francisco.
You're right, Jeffrey! Sudan is no longer the largest nation (in terms of area, not population) on the African continent. As of Saturday, the coveted distinction of Africa's biggest nation now belongs to: Algeria! In fact, Sudan is now third on the list, behind the Congo...but still ahead of Libya. NOTE: South Sudan is now the world's 45th largest nation.
Gimme some vital info about South Sudan: Capital, Language, Currency. -- Greg, Shanghai.
Not exactly as question...Greg...but we'll help you out. The capital city is Juba. It is the southernmost navigable port on the Nile River. Located close to the Equator (4 degrees N), the city is hot, muggy and muddy. The official language of South Sudan is English, although many speak Arabic. In addition, three million citizens speak Dinka. The currency is the South Sudanese Pound, although no bank notes have been issued.
Doesn't South Sudan have a lot of oil? -- Marvin, Mexico City.
It sure does! Not surprisingly, petroleum reserves were the thorniest issue in the Sudanese divorce. See, all of Sudan's four oil refineries are all located in the North. Crude oil...along with all of its enormous profits...is simply pumped away from the South to the North. Not any more! As of Saturday, all oil revenue will be split 50/50 between the two states. Note: The USA cannot legally purchase Sudanese oil as it is still under the jurisdiction of a terror-supporting regime. Hence, Chinese companies own 80% of their reserves.
I heard South Sudan is a tough place to be a woman. Is that true? -- Sureshnie, Johannesburg
It's true...The statistics aren't good for the ladies of South Sudan...especially if you want to be a mom. The new nation starts off dead last on the international list of nations' Maternal Mortality Rates. This means one in fifty women die in labor. Almost all babies are born at home as the entire nation has only two hospitals. Get this...there is only one doctor for every half million people. (Talk about long waits in waiting rooms!)
Do you really think this crazy new country can survive? Tracy, Manhattan.
Although most impoverished, landlocked nations do fail, we here at the DUNER BLOG believe South Sudan has a chance. First of all, it isn't beset with religious strife, which cripples so many developing nations. For example, the first president, SALVA KIR MAYARDIT, is a Catholic with a Muslim son. Also, its remote location has spared it from development. The BOMA NATIONAL PARK is home to world's second largest wildlife migration. Finally, be sure to watch out for their national basketball team in the next Olympics. The Dinka are the tallest people on earth! Just ask MANUTE BOL or LOUL DENG!
One more thing: The nation's official anthem is: "SOUTH SUDAN OYEE!"