30 June 2011 – Preparations to celebrate Southern Sudanese independence on 9 July were well underway in Upper Nile State, a top government official said in the capital Malakal today.
Speaking at a ministry press conference, Upper Nile State Minister of Information and Communication Peter Lam Both said the Government of Southern Sudan had provided funding for the day's celebrations.
"We have received one million Sudanese pounds ($374,300) for the celebration in the state's capital and one hundred thousand Sudanese pounds ($37,400) for the celebration in each county," said Mr. Both, who also serves as secretary of the high committee for celebration of the independence of the South Sudan.
The minister said that celebrations in Malakal and the counties would take place on the same day. "Each county will delegate two members to participate in the celebration in Malakal town."
The high committee had begun to renovate Malakal Stadium, where the celebration would take place, and to level roads leading there, Minister Both said. "The renovation of the stadium is going well. It will be completed before 4 July."
He noted that some 3,000 students had been trained by the organizing committee to participate in raising the new nation's flag on 9 July.
Security for the day had also been arranged, the minister said. "We have put the security measures in place. We will not allow unauthorized persons to carry any weapons during the celebration."
The independence celebration high committee was formed by Upper Nile State Governor Mr. Simon Kon Pouch on 24 April and is chaired by his deputy, Andrea Maya.