KIGALI - President Paul Kagame, was yesterday officially invited to attend the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Southern Sudan, scheduled for July 9.
The invitation was delivered by Lt. Gen. Nhial Deng Nhial, the Minister for Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) Affairs in Southern Sudan, while meeting with the President at Urugwiro Village.
The celebrations to mark a new state in Africa follows the January landmark referendum polls where more than 98 percent of votes cast supported independence from the north.
The week-long poll was part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended a two-decade civil war between the Muslim-dominated north and Christians from the south.
“Rwanda is a country that scored remarkable progress in many areas, particularly in governance.
It is becoming a model in Africa. We stand to learn a lot from this experience,” Nhial told reporters, shortly after meeting the President.
He noted that Rwanda and the yet-to-be proclaimed state of Southern Sudan share the same history of political conflict.
“The ability of Rwanda to bounce back and begin the course of reconstruction is something that Southern Sudan can learn from as we also rebuild our country,” said Nhial.
He explained that they also discussed the establishment of formal bilateral diplomatic ties after the proclamation.
The Sudanese General said that the condition for development and service delivery to the citizenry is based on political stability.
“Rwanda achieved this, establishing a conducive climate for economic development and prosperity,” he said.
Nhial stated that South Sudan currently has a security challenge caused by armed militia groups that joined hands with political parties that disagreed with the referendum results.
“These armed groups have continued to cause insecurity in certain parts of our country. This is one of the other areas we will have conversation with Rwanda - on how best to address such threats to create a development climate.
Nhial was accompanied by Anthony Makama, the Minister of Roads and Transport and Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, the Undersecretary Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in the Southern Sudan.