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South Sudan political parties to discuss flag and currency Thursday

February 16, 2011 (JUBA) – Leaders of political parties at a meeting in Juba have unanimously agreed that the new state to be created in the region will be be called the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS).

The naming receive the agreement of all the political forces in the South - due to become independent after a referendum in January - including the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

All the political parties in the semi-autonomous region converged in Juba on Wednesday to discuss the process of transition in the emerging independent state after the overwhelming vote for secession from North Sudan in the January’s referendum.

During the opening of the political parties leadership forum chaired by South Sudan president and SPLM chairman, Salva Kiir Mayardit, the leaders of the parties endorsed a report presented by the chairman of the Southern Sudan 2011 Taskforce, Riek Machar Teny, the regions vice president, which outlined the role being played by the body that serves as the government’s think-tank on the referendum, post-referendum issues and the future governance of the soon-to-be-independent South Sudan.

This meeting follows the all parties’ conference held in Juba in October 2010.

In a press statement issued after the meeting, Machar said representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and faith-based groups would be included in the membership of the taskforce and contribute to resolutions of challenges ahead.

He announced that the Wednesday meeting endorsed the name of the new country and added that the political parties will on Thursday discuss the type of flag and name of the currency for the independent state.

The vice president also added that the issue of including the political parties in the technical committee on constitutional review will also be discussed, among other issues in the process of transition.

In a separate press conference on Wednesday, the minister of Peace and CPA Implementation, Pagan Amum, who also serves as the SPLM’s secretary general, said that the emerging independent state will be formed on inclusivity of all the political parties in order to achieve a smooth transition.

He said the SPLM’s political bureau, the highest political body of the party, also approved the name of the Republic of South Sudan for the new state on Monday.

Amum also added that the party preferred the SPLM flag, which has already been serving as an interim flag for the Government of Southern Sudan, to remain as the national flag of the new independent state. It will however be subjected to endorsement by all the political parties and after which the political decision will be presented to the parliament for further deliberations and final endorsement.