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US Recognizes World’s Newest Country: The Republic of South Sudan

07/12/2011

During the second week of January 2011, the people of the autonomous region of Southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly in favor for independence. This vote was the result of the 2005 peace agreement between the north and south, with the northern portion granting the southern region “limited autonomy” to be followed by the January 2011 referendum for independence. On Saturday, July 9, the Republic of South Sudan announced its independence and on the same day, the US recognized the new country as an autonomous nation. Even so, there are still a few steps that need to be played out on the international stage before the new country can be added as a DXCC entity.

According to the DXCC rules, one of two things must happen first: The Republic of South Sudan must either be added as a member to the United Nations or receive a prefix block from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

On Monday, July 11, the UN Security Council’s Committee on the Admission of New Members met to review the new country’s application for membership to the UN. This 15 member committee is expected to vote on the application on Wednesday, July 13. Any recommendations for admission must receive the affirmative votes of nine of the Council’s 15 members, provided that none of its five permanent members -- the US, China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom -- vote against the application. If the Council recommends admission, the recommendation is presented to the 192-member General Assembly, where a two-thirds majority of members present and voting is necessary for admission of a new State. Should South Sudan’s application be approved by the Council and subsequently the General Assembly, the country of more than 8 million people will become the UN’s 193rd member. Membership becomes effective on the date the resolution for admission is adopted by the General Assembly. The General Assembly vote is expected to take place on the morning of Thursday, July 14.

According to QST “How’s DX” columnist and The Daily DX editor Bernie McClenny, W3UR, two teams have announced plans to activate the Republic of South Sudan shortly after the ARRL adds it to the DXCC list. “In celebration of the claim to independence of the Republic of South Sudan, the call sign ST0A was QRV on Saturday July 9 from Khartoum, Sudan,” he wrote in the July 11 edition of The Daily DX. “Many will remember the ST0 prefix was used for the deleted Southern Sudan DXCC country between May 7, 1972 and December 31, 1994. Shortly after the deletion of Southern Sudan [from the DXCC list], the ST0 prefix was used back in the north (ST0F, ST0RY and ST0P, just to name a few).”

As of July 11, the ITU had not received a formal request from South Sudan for a new prefix block from ITU. According to McClenny, it could be several days after South Sudan becomes a member of the UN before they receive a prefix from the Table of International Call Sign Series.  -- Thanks to Bernie McClenny, W3UR, and The Daily DX for some information



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