As reported widely in the world press, the results of the recent referendum on the future of the Southern Sudan region are now public, and with an overwhelming majority, the people have readied the way for another independent state. Also, the current mother country, the Republic of Sudan, has agreed to honor the referendum results while the President of the United States has pledged U.S. recognition of the new country in July, 2011.
The current plan calls for that country to declare its independence on July 9 this year, likely to be followed by its well-prepared entry to world organizations, such as the United Nations. Several alternative names for the new republic are still under consideration – probably the name Sudan will not be part of the new republic’s nomenclature.
With that scenario in mind, a working group has been established to enable Amateur Radio to enter the scene with a professional, supportive role in the context of introducing the new country to the world of Amateur Radio. It should be noted that this potential new country is emerging with a limited administrative structure, and the first Amateur Radio activation should – prior to the operation – be accompanied with a well-thought-out plan prepared in partnership with Southern Sudan’s relevant authorities, such as telecommunications, security and education.
The group of Alex, 5Z4DZ/PA3DZN; Robert, S53R and Martti, OH2BH has organized such an effort in discussions with Southern Sudan’s institutions and other related parties in the region.
Many of Southern Sudanâ€™s current institutions are represented in Nairobi, the home base of 5Z4DZ. Nairobi makes a practical hub for the project, facilitating the conduct of negotiations and travel to Juba, the regionâ€™s future capital.
S53R and his team, with several well-known hams, are based in the region and maintain the telecommunications structure for UNWFP with related professional contacts. Their regional offices are in Southern Sudan with all needed facilities and equipment.
The plan is to use OH2BHâ€™s past work and material for the establishment of Amateur Radio in evolving societies as a foundation for assisting the newborn nation to draft and utilize Amateur Radio to its full potential in a professional setting when Southern Sudan joins the international family of nations.
As public interest in Southern Sudan will run high over the next several months, this group has invited Bernie, W3UR to be its spokesman in dealings with the Amateur Radio community. The group will also be holding discussions about the provision of potential help to Southern Sudan’s prospective Amateur Radio Service with several entities, such as NCDXF, in addition to obtaining resources from Japan.
The group wants to encourage the DX community to closely follow the rather complicated process unfolding around the emerging new nation, and hopes for a peaceful continuation of the process as the official referendum results are announced, leading up to the ultimate declaration of independence by the new country.
Updates will be released from time to time between now and July, and it is predicted that prospects for a new DXCC counter are some months away with preparations well underway.