May 22, 2011 (JUBA) – The Commonwealth nations have welcomed the would-be new born state of South Sudan in July at the organization's three-day conference in the Malaysian's capital, Kuala Lumpur, this week.
- GoSS VP Riek Machar speaking to press shortly after his arrival from Malaysia on 20 May 2011 (ST)
The people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly by over 98% in favour of secession from the rest of Sudan in an internationally monitored referendum on self-determination which was conducted in January 2011. The plebiscite came as a result of the 2005 peace deal which ended 21 years of civil war between North and South.
President Omer Hassan Al Bashir of Sudan accepted the outcome of the vote, saying it expressed the will of the people of the semi-autonomous region.
In a statement to the press at Juba International Airport on Saturday shortly after his arrival from Malaysia, the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Riek Machar, said the 54 nations of the Commonwealth have already taken for granted during the conference the recognition of the new state of South Sudan in July 2011.
Machar who participated in the Commonwealth conference added that the countries went further to discuss the possibility of South Sudan joining the organization as the 55th nation after declaration of its independence.
Established in 1931, the Commonwealth nations organization works to promote democracy, human rights, good governance and the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism and world peace.
The membership of the Commonwealth nations comprises 54 countries from the continents of North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia; most of which were former British colonies, or dependencies of these colonies. The organization is headed by Queen Elizabeth II of Britain.
South Sudan leadership has also been dispatching senior officials of the government to hand-deliver invitations to foreign dignitaries in Africa to attend the day of its independence proclamation. Over eighty per cent (80%) of the 53 countries in Africa have already accepted the invitations.
Machar also earlier revealed that his government will participate in the meeting of the United Nations Security Council scheduled to take place on July 13 in New York, during which the recognition of South Sudan's independence by the world body shall be on the agenda.