south sudan

Though still dealing with unresolved border disputes and internal rebellions, newly independent South Sudan has offered to help the peace in another country in its region. Since it is likely to continue to require quite a bit of international assistance for its development and security in the coming years, the government consider this a wise investment meant at building up international good will.

August 16, 2011

A well-defined and accurate national identity is, in many ways, a defined national strategy and as the world's focus has shifted for a moment toward its own economic woes and unrest, South Sudan and nations around the globe in a similarly early or developing stage, will need to muster as much internal strength, of character and otherwise, that they possibly can.

Who deserves credit for bringing the Republic of South Sudan into existence as the 193rd country in the United Nations? One strong candidate for acclaim is the phenomenon of celebrity activism led by Hollywood's paramount leading man, George Clooney. As might be expected, there continue to be ripples of outright dismissal of Clooney's efforts from the usual suspects.

The link between football, identity, unity and nationhood is so strong that many newly-found states, or states divided by war, have used the soft power of football to achieve hard political aim.

Just days after South Sudan achieved independence, the Chinese government has already established a vocational training program for welders in Juba. The establishment of a program to train welders suggests that China would like to reduce South Sudan's dependency on Sudanese infrastructure.

I have also come to observe Egyptian public diplomacy efforts in South Sudan - and they are quite feeble. An Egyptian clinic, staffed by Egyptian doctors recognized for their skills, is essentially it. While a good step, it is insufficient to win the hearts and minds of our new upstream neighbors, who often view Egypt through the prism of its close relationship to Khartoum.