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South Sudan: Challenges Facing Africa's Newest State

1808 words - 8 pages

With the continued development of third-world countries becoming more of a trend, international powers expect that the world is making a larger shift towards total democracy. With the establishment of one of the world’s newest states, South Sudan has many challenges ahead of them yet to conquer in their quest of total independence. How can one make sense of the international relations of establishing a new state. Since secession is not a new theory, we should outline and map the challenges faced by the country of South Sudan. This term paper will provide a brief background, and discuss the challenges that are faced by the newest state of Africa. It’s important for international ...view middle of the document...

In 2005, a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed between the National Congress Party in the North, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA) in the South, which brought an end to 22 years of civil war. Under this agreement, a secession agreement was developed in South Sudan in early 2011. The agreement was accepted as credible from the international community, and its results indicated that South Sudan had voted overwhelmingly for independence. (Central Intelligence Agency, 2012)
The independent country of South Sudan faces many challenges that come with the development of a new nation. These include a lack of reliable transportation, an absence of basic services, fear of violence and unrest, wide area of poverty, lack of functioning institutions, and corruption. (Carpenter, 2011)
The culture of South Sudan isn’t a dominant one, but there are more than 200 ethnic groups in South Sudan, the Dinkas and Nuers being the largest. (Central Intelligence Agency, 2012) One of the difficult tasks facing Southern Sudan is to unite all of the groups while upholding peace. The mutual enemy found in North Sudan may prove to be unifying for but this will not last long term as eventually focus will shift towards it’s internal issues.
An independent South Sudan poses additional challenges financially and economically. It’s important for new independent nations to experience economic growth. However, despite rich oil reserves in the country, the benefits of this development since the end of the war not yet reached the public. (Carpenter, 2011) Additionally, over 80% of residents do not have proper sanitation facilities and, unlike North Sudan, boreholes and unprotected wells are the primary sources for drinking water. (Carpenter, 2011)
An additional challenge South Sudan is faced with is with the procurement of basic services, mainly health care, water, sanitation, and an adequate educational situation. Between 2006-2009 an average of 34% of GDP spending was on the military, which does not leave much for the delivery of even the most basic of services, to a country where over 90% of the poor live on less than $1 a day. (Central Intelligence Agency, 2012) Another issue is food insecurity, which is caused by years of conflict and poverty. Many South Sudanese are greatly dependent on food aid. If unity is to continue, economic advances are going to need to be put into play.
Another challenge facing South Sudan will be to incorporate the skilled and educated Sudanese needed to rebuild a country torn apart by war and build institutions, particularly academic institutions. In South Sudan, only 37% of the population has attended any form of advanced schooling. (Carpenter, 2011) However, the Sudanese continue to travel and return from abroad, bringing with them vital skills and education, albeit in low numbers. Nonetheless they could play a vital role in the new independent country’s rebuilding effort. Overall, the Nations of...

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