...it is the grass that suffers. On the 9 July 2012 the two youngest countries in the world celebrate their first birthdays. To mark the occasion, journalists from Sudan and South Sudan came together to report on the development of both nations in the second edition of The Niles. The proverb about the two elephants, which is popular in both countries, has become a fitting leitmotif. How much the grass actually suffers, how the elephants are affected and what that has to do with relationships between people, are all explored in the collection of stories, pictures and songs from Sudan and South Sudan.
4 The Niles | Chronicle 12 steps of the first year 1 / happy birthday! 9th of July 2011 Tens of thousands of citizens and many foreign dignitaries, amongst them Sudan’s president Omar Al Bashir, attend festivities at the John Garang Mausoleum in Juba, where Salva Kiir is sworn in as president of the world’s youngest country, the Republic of South Sudan. At the same time, the Republic of Sudan becomes a newly defined nation. P.S. Has anyone seen George Clooney, the world’s most famous Sudan activist? 4 / Kiir in Khartoum 8th of October 2011 + first visit of South Sudanese president Salva Kiir since the secession + hopes of easing tensions are fostered by the agreement to set up specialised committees on unresolved issues 17th of October 2011 marks 100 days after the division on 9th of July and Salva Kiirs’ promised report about his achievements after the first 100 days has yet to be seen. P.S. George Clooney says he has planned a method of killing himself, but never believed he would carry it through. 2 / the anticlimax August 2011 Ongoing intercommunal clashes in the South Sudanese state of Jonglei continue to claim hundreds of lives. At the same time, fighting in the Sudanese state of Southern Kordofan escalates and worsens the humanitarian crisis there. Both governments accuse each other of supporting proxy rebel forces. P.S. George Clooney declares that he is not interested in becoming the next American President. 3 / “whether you are white, red or black, this is our country!” 1st of September 2011 Salva Kiir to a group of Muslims in Juba, celebrating the first “Eid el-Fitr” in independent South Sudan. drop the rosecoloured glasses 2nd of September 2011 Fighting breaks out in the Sudanese state of Blue Nile between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and troops of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) - Northern Sector under disputed circumstances. Both sides trade blame, while thousands of civilians suffer from displacement. P.S. George Clooney presents his new girlfriend Stacy Keibler, a former wrestler. 5 / “We tell our brothers in the south, that if they want peace, we want peace. If they want war, our army is there.” The Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir on the 6th of November in Khartoum. First Agricultural Trade Fair – South Sudan 9th of November 2011 Sudanese and Syrian protesters demonstrate against the continued violence in Syria outside Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum. 23th of November 2011 hello again! President Bashir appoints the sons of two prominent opposition leaders as presidential assistants, thereby including parts of the traditional forces. Similarly, the new government of South Sudan consists of many old faces. 29th of November 2011 P.S. George Clooney says, “Even the idea of a fart makes me laugh.“
Chronicle | The Niles 5 6 / mysterious ways The leader of a devastating rebellion in the South Sudanese State of Jonglei, former SPLA-General George Athor, is killed under mysterious circumstances. Only few days later, Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement ( JEM) in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, is killed under mysterious circumstances on the Northern side as well. In both cases, foreign involvement is rumoured. The insurgencies continue. 19th of December 2011 “This Christmas, since the Southern Sudanese have gone, we don’t know what the attendance will be like, but I would say people will celebrate with mixed feelings of joy and fear.” Bishop Kondo shortly before Christmas in Khartoum short reminder: 25th of January marks 200 days after the 9th of July and Salva Kiirs’ promised report about his achievements after the first 100 days is still missing. P.S. George Clooney says that he is looking forward to a nice slow dinner with his girlfriend. 8 / joy Sudan’s football team plays the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 42 years. Both Sudans celebrate the match. Sudan loses in Bata 0:3 against Zambia 4th of February 2012 peace mission 1 Thabo Mbeki, the African Union’s mediator for Sudan and South Sudan, says that Sudan and South Sudan have signed a peace pact. 11th of February 2012 10 / war War breaks out between Sudan and South Sudan after an attack of the SPLA in Heglig / Paanthou and continued air raids by SAF on South Sudanese territory. 10th of April 2012 11 / 4th of May 2012 marks 300 days after the birthdays on 9th of July 2011. peace mission 2 Chinese envoy to Africa, Zhong Jianhua, urged Sudan and South Sudan to reach a peaceful agreement over outstanding issues and expressed China’s readiness to work closely with the two neighbours to settle their disputes. 13th of May 2012 P.S. „George Clooney’s Satellites Build a Case Against an Alleged War Criminal“ (Headline Times, 3th of December 2011) 7 / 815 000 000 $ South Sudan shuts down its oil pipeline which runs through the north to the export terminal on the Red Sea coast, accusing Sudan of seizing US$815 million worth of crude. Bashir and Kiir fail to resolve the oil dispute at a meeting in Ethiopia when Kiir pulls out of talks between the two. 20th of January 2012 197th South Sudan has become the 197th signatory to the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol - two multilateral treaties that are helping to restore concentrations of ozone in high altitudes around the planet, thereby protecting life on Earth from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. 23th of January 2012 47.8% The South Sudanese Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 47.8% from January 2011 to January 2012. P.S. Latest news from GC: “I wake every night five times.” 9 / rest in peace Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, Political Secretary of the Communist Party of Sudan (CPS) since 1971, passes away at the age of 82. His early mediation efforts with the rebel SPLM also gained him the respect of many Southerners. 22nd of March 2012 hope South Sudan officials are hopeful that the country will soon be declared Polio-free, as the latest round of nationwide Polio immunizations wraps up. 30th of March 2012 P.S. George Clooney visits Nuba Mountains + George Clooney addresses the Council on Foreign Relations regarding the situation in Southern Sudan + George Clooney meets Barack Obama + George Clooney is arrested in front of the Sudanese embassy in Washington D.C. peace mission 3 Thabo Mbeki, the African Union’s mediator for Sudan and South Sudan, arrives in Khartoum as part of his efforts to encourage the two sides to return to talks. 17th of May 2012 P.S. The Next Mission: George Clooney’s dinner for Obama’s election campaign raises a record $ 15 Million. 12 / planet of love On the 6th of June, 2012, the planet Venus passed directly between the Sun and the Earth – highly visible from Sudan and South Sudan. Such transits are very rare, with the next one occurring in 2117. P.S. For further information please ask GC, the world’s most famous love activist.