As you may know, on January 9, 2011, citizens of Southern Sudan were given the opportunity to vote for independence for their nation- separating from Northern Sudan. Here is a great article from CNN about the vote.
We talked to our resident African studies expert, Emily Blackledge, and asked her some questions about this vote.
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So now that the vote has happened, what next?
Well the short answer is not much. Since 2005 under the peace agreement, the South has been governing alot of its own affairs. So after the ballots have all been counted and there is an official “independence” granted, then much will continue as normal in the sense that the South has already been governing its people with its own laws and rules. However, some things will be new, like they have been receiving all their money from the North and will now be forced to do all of that themselves. So they will have to create their own budget, start printing their own money and paying for everything themselves from their half of the money made from oil sales. They will also have to be formally recognized as an independent country by the United Nations and each country individually. That’s nothing too important in the scheme of things but will be a really neat ceremony to see.
Why should Mocha Club members care about this vote?
Mocha Club members should care because as Christians, we have an obligation to care for our brothers and sisters around the world. We get to celebrate with them their freedom and the ability to live free from government oppression or government imposed religion. Also, we need to care because we have been commanded to care for the widows, orphans and poor. South Sudan will continue to need our support to create communities with safe drinking water, with schools for boys and girls to go and learn, with leaders that are held accountable to ensure their freedoms and abilities, and with access to medical supplies and food. We should care because we will now have one more country in this beautiful continent to visit, to read about their stories, to celebrate the progress made in their communities and to invest in their development, both physically and spiritually.