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APSU is site of upcoming conference of Southern Sudanese leadership

The democratization of the newly established autonomous state of Southern Sudan has been a top priority for the Bush Administration since 2001and Austin Peay State University has been doing its part to support this priority.

APSU officials have been laying the groundwork for an upcoming conference at which Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardiit, president of Southern Sudan, is slated to give the keynote speech.
The democratization of the newly established autonomous state of Southern Sudan has been a top priority for the Bush Administration since 2001and Austin Peay State University has been doing its part to support this priority.

APSU officials have been laying the groundwork for an upcoming conference at which Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardiit, president of Southern Sudan, is slated to give the keynote speech.

To be held March 3-5 at APSU, the conference, titled “Peace, Democracy and Union Through Political Transformation,” is sponsored by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) Chapter of Tennessee and the Sudan House Charity Foundation.

According to Greg Kaufmann, director of APSU's Institute for Global Security Studies (IGSS), 250 guests from across the United States and abroad are expected, with participation being by invitation only. Invitees include SPLM chapter delegates from North America, Africa, Australia and Europe, South Sudan representatives and federal, state and local dignitaries.

The conference will focus on transforming the SPLM into a democratic political party. Strategies to be discussed by the South Sudanese delegates include improving diplomatic relations with North American governments, encouraging businesses and industry to invest in the Southern Sudan and soliciting support from various institutions to assist with the successful implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which was signed in January 2005.

Dr. Sherry Hoppe, president of APSU, was instrumental in APSU being chosen to host the conference, in large part, because of the IGSS. Two focuses of IGSS are providing venues for understanding the politics and national philosophy of key foreign nations and becoming educational partners with other democratic nations, thereby deterring global terrorism.

For more information about the conference, e-mail Kaufmann at kaufmanng@apsu.edu or telephone (931) 221-7911 or visit the Web site of the Tennessee Chapter of the SPLM at www.splm2006.org. -- Dennie B. Burke