The Elders congratulate the people and government of the new Republic of South Sudan

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Thursday, 7 July, 2011

As the people and government of South Sudan prepare for their country's official secession and independence from Sudan on 9 July, The Elders send their congratulations to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

7 July 2011


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The Elders have sent a letter of congratulations to President Salva Kiir Mayardit ahead of his country's official secession and independence from Sudan on 9 July.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu conveyed the Elders' best wishes to the people of Africa's newest country, the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS), and said, “The Elders share in your joy and will celebrate this historic moment with you all.”

The Elders also urged the government of the new Republic of South Sudan to foster harmonious relations between Juba and Khartoum. With the expiration of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the two countries will need to work together, with the support of Thabo Mbeki, Chair of the AU High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, to resolve outstanding issues peacefully and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship after 9 July.

The Elders are deeply troubled by the ongoing conflict, internal displacement and killing of civilians in Abyei and Southern Kordofan. They have urged the authorities in North and South Sudan, as well as regional states, to avoid actions that could provoke further violence and increase the risk of large-scale conflict.

As the transition to independence gets underway, the Elders also urge the government of President Kiir to adopt an inclusive and participatory approach to governance – especially as new governance structures and a constitution are formed.

In their letter they wrote: “We encourage you to ensure that opposition parties, civil society representatives and all regions of the RoSS can play a meaningful role in the South's transition; marginalisation of these groups would harm the prospects for democracy and lasting peace and stability.”

The Elders' first mission as a group was to Sudan in 2007, shortly after the group was formally announced by Nelson Mandela.


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About The Elders

The Elders is an independent group of global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007, who work together for peace and human rights.

The Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Brundtland, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu (Chair). Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi are honorary Elders.

For biographies of the Elders, blogs, photos, videos and more information about their work please go to

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