John Prendergast

  • Aired:  07/18/11
  •  | Views: 16,305

John Prendergast talks about the birth of South Sudan, the creation of its flag and the oil curse that might plague its future. (4:59)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE WORLD'S NEWEST COUNTRY SOUTH SUDAN.

GREAT.

NOW I GOT TO THROW OUT ALL MY CLOTHES.

PLEASE WELCOME JOHN PRENDERGAST.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) HEY, MR. PREBDER-- PRENDERGAST.

SIT IS DOWN.

SIR?

LET'S GIVE THE PEOPLE YOUR CV.

IT IS QUITISM PRESS &IVE.

BESIDES BEING THE AUTHOR OF SUCH BOOKS AS UNLIKELY BROTHER, ARE YOU ALSO A

HUMAN RIGHTS ADVO KACHLT YOU WORKED FOR PEACE IN AFRICA FOR OVER 25 YEARS.

YOU'RE CO-FOUNDER OF THE ENOUGH PROJECT.

WHICH IS AN ISSUE TO END GENOCIDE AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMAN KNIT AFRICA.

AND YOUR GROUP HELPED PUSH THE REFERENDUM THAT LEAD TO THE CREATION OF SOUTH SUDAN.

OKAY.

ANYTHING IMPRESSIVE?

(LAUGHTER) HOW DOES A NEW COUNTRY COME INTO EXISTENCE?

DO TWO OLD COUNTRIES LOVE EACH OTHER VERY MUCH AND THEN GIVE EACH OTHER A SPECIAL HUG?

WHAT-- HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

>> THERE WASN'T ENOUGH LOVE,

ACTUALLY, STEPHEN.

THEY FOUGHT FOR FIVE DECADES.

>> Stephen: NORTH AND SOUTH SUDAN.

>> AND THE SOUTHERNERS BASICALLY AFTER HAVING BEEN ENSLAVED AND BOMBED AND

COLONIZED FOR CENTURIES,

THEY DECIDED ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

WE WANT TO HAVE OUR OWN STATE SO THEY FOUGHT THESE SUCCESSIVE WARS AGAINST THE NORTH.

FINALLY WON THEIR RIGHT TO INDEPENDENCE.

HELD THE VOTE IN JANUARY.

VOTED 99% IN FAVOR OF INDEPENDENCE.

AND LAST WEEKEND THEY BECAME THE LATEST COUNTRY TO BECOME-- .

>> Stephen: LITERALLY LAST WEEKEND THEY BECAME A NEW COUNTRY.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: AND RAND McNALLY WENT CHA CHING.

>> YEAH.

HE'S BEEN VERY LONELY, THERE WAS MONTENEGRO ABOUT A DECADE OKAY.

IT HASN'T BEEN A NEW COUNTRY SO THIS IS REALLY UP RAND McNALLY'S ALLY.

>> Stephen: THESE ARE AMERICANS IN THE AUDIENCE SO GEOGRAPHY ISN'T THEIR STRONG

SUIT SO LET'S SHOW THE PEOPLE WHERE THIS COUNTRY IS.

THIS IS AFRICA AS I REMEMBER.

THERE IS SUDAN AND BOOM.

SOUTH SUDAN.

DOWN THERE.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) NOW JIMMY CAN WE THROW THE NEXT-- THROW UP THE FLAG THERE.

THIS NEXT IMAGE IS THE NEW FLAG OF SOUTH SUDAN WHICH WE'VE GOT DIGITALLY RIPPLING THERE.

AND THIS IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE FEW COPIES OF THEIR FLAG THAT IS IN THE UNITED STATES RIGHT NOW.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) HOW DOES-- HOW DOES A NEW FLAG GET DECIDED?

>> WELL, IT'S AMAZING.

THE GREEN IS FOR THE AGRICULTURE POTENTIAL.

THE RED FOR THE BLOOD THAT PEOPLE GAVE TO GET THE NEW COUNTRY.

BLACK ACTUALLY FOR THE AFRICAN PEOPLE.

WHETHER YOU IS THE NILE RIVER AND THIS STAR IS FOR THE UNITY OF ALL THE PEOPLE

TO COME TOGETHER FOR THIS NEW STATE.

>> Stephen: AND WHO MAKES THE DECISION THAT THIS IS THE FLAG?

>> SOME FLAG DECISION GUY.

I DON'T REALLY-- .

>> Stephen: WOW.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: THAT SOUNDS LIKE A JOB THAT DRUNLT LAST LONG.

>> THAT WAS IT.

>> Stephen: IF I WAS THE FLAG DECISION GUY I WOULD BE LIKE, I HAVEN'T MADE UP MY

MIND YET.

KEEP THE CHECKS COMING.

NOW WHAT KIND OF SUCCESS DO YOU THINK SOUTH SUDAN HAS A CHANCE OF HAVING?

BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT SOMETHING CALLED THE OIL PERF.

>> THE RESOURCE CURSE, HERE IS THIS COUNTRY THAT HAS BEEN BORN, VERY POOR ONE OF

THE POOREST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD, VERY LITTLE MEDICAL CARE, NO EDUCATION BUT THEY

GOT HUGE RESERVES OF OIL.

BUT WHAT THAT OFTEN MEANS FOR A NEW COUNTRY IS THAT CORRUPTION FOLLOWS VERY QUICKLY.

SO EVERYBODY GETS THEIR HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR, TURNS OUT GOVERNMENT BECOMES THEN A

FEEDING FRENZY FOR WHO GETS TO HAVE A CUT OF THAT.

AND AS OPPOSED TO BUILDING A STATE THAT CAN ACTUALLY TAKE CARE OF THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE.

>> Stephen: EXACTLY.

LIKE THE UNITES STATES WHERE MONEY AND CORRUPTION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR GOVERNORS.

(LAUGHTER)

>> WHO REALLY SHOULD GET CREDIT FOR A ENDING THAT FIGHT AND MAKING THE

OPPORTUNITY FOR THIS COUNTRY TO COME INTO EXISTENCE?

>> THE SOUTH SUDAN EASE FOUGHT AND THEN THEY PUSHED FOR A PEACE DEAL THAT WOULD

GIVE THEM THE CHANCE TO VOTE.

BUT THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT AMERICA AS THE COUNTRY THAT HAS THE MOST INFLUENCE

IN SUDAN PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN ENSURING THAT THAT PEACE DEAL ACTUALLY CAME TO

FRUITION AND GAVE THE SOUTHERNERS A CHANCE TO VOTE FOR INDEPENDENCE RZ AND WHO

WAS THE PRESIDENT IN OFFICE WHEN THAT WAS ACHIEVED.

>> THAT WOULD BE PRESIDENT BUSH.

>> Stephen: GIVE IT RIGHT UP HERE, BABY, RIGHT UP HERE.

>> ALL RIGHT.

>> Stephen: LET'S MARK THAT DOWN IN THE HISTORY BOOK.

AND BABY, SOUTH SUDAN, NAME THEM GEORGE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: JOHN PRENDERGAST.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.