A New Independent State in the Horn of Africa – South Sudan
In January, southern Sudanese voted in a referendum in favour (98.17%) of becoming an independent State. The new state which is to appear in Southern Sudan in July this year has acquired the name “South Sudan”.
However, there are many issues the north and the south have to negotiate before then – such as, the borders, external debts, citizenship rights and the destiny of their mutual currency – oil is among the trickiest in addition to the problem of Abyei. Also, separately, South Sudan will face several problems including the influx of returnees, widespread poverty, insecurity and lack of basic infrastructure.
The above problems and disputes could potentially result in political instability, new large scale conflict or civil wars. This situation could have adverse consequences on the rest of the Horn of Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Eastern DRC, through forced migration, displacement and humanitarian crises, cross-border armed groups and militias and food insecurity. It could also threaten international agreements governing the use of the Nile Waters, two thirds of which are within Sudan’s borders.
South Sudan consists of ten states which formerly composed the provinces of Equatorial (Central Equatorial, Eastern Equatorial, and Western Equatorial), Bahr el Ghazal (Northern Bahr al Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, and Warrap), and Upper Nile (Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile).
Fast Facts for South Sudan:
Total Population: 8.26 million (4.29million are male, and 3.97 million are female)
Total Area: 644,329 sq. km
Rural Population: 83%
Infant Mortality: 102/1000 live births
Maternal Mortality: 2054/100,000 live births
51% of population below poverty line
96% of population uses firewood or charcoal as the primary energy sources
1% of households have a bank account
Oil revenues make over 98% of the revenues of the Government of South Sudan
Juba is the capital city