Koang has come of age since I saw him last, and I am confident he will offer a different perspective on where his country has been, and where it is going. When I first met Koang, South Sudan was a little more than halfway through a trial period in which its entire future was at stake. They had lost a generation of sons and daughters to violence , and those who survived had been denied services, opportunity, or any real voice in their own government.
They had been treated as outsiders, trapped inside an arbitrary colonial border with scant hopes of improving their lot. The landmark peace accord established a semi-autonomous government in the South in , and slated a referendum on South Sudanese independence for Finally, South Sudanese citizens would have a chance to determine their own political destiny. But it also offered Southerners an opt-out clause: If a more perfect union could not be forged during this peace period, the South would be entitled to secede. The ensuing six years were extraordinarily volatile, shaped by a dizzying mix of political dynamics and dangerous brinkmanship.
Less than halfway through the period, the writing was on the wall—South Sudan was going to vote for independence, come hell or high water. Despite the talk of preserving a union with Sudan, most Southerners were simply counting the days until they could bid their Northern oppressors farewell. The year I met Koang, I was traveling throughout the Upper Nile region doing research on local armed conflicts. Koang was in his late twenties and doing what many of the most educated and capable youth around him did—working for a U.
Koang was born in , the eldest of six, in the predominantly Nuer town of Akobo. He returned to South Sudan in , married a Dinka woman with whom he had two children, and began working for a local NGO, and later, the United Nations. Koang and I convened outside a local shack of a restaurant and ordered sodas as the sun set behind a grove of thorn trees. He eased into a discussion about intercommunal violence—the breakdown of traditional authority, the proliferation of weapons, the ways young men thought about their roles in the community.
How US Policy Became Predicated on Secession
He talked in specifics—policy solutions, training programs, tools to begin repairing a social fabric shredded by war—then placed these issues in a larger context, discussing the kinds of institutional changes he thought would enable his community to overcome the past and prepare itself for an independent future. I asked how he might turn his ideas into political action. Wearing a slightly pained smile, he dismissed the notion. Comrades Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, and the commanders who had led the fight against Khartoum were a venerated class. This deference to a military elite was an understandable legacy, and one that could not be fully appreciated by an outsider.
But it was also undermining this soon-to-be nation, as many of the ex-generals were ill-equipped to build an administrative state. There were many others like Koang, rising stars who honored the struggle but whose minds were trained on the next set of challenges. One could imagine them working, debating, and building institutions in these critical formative years, save for these complicated notions of debts owed.
The only recourse, it seemed, was to await generational change, when the aging commanders would die or go of their own choosing. Two years after Koang and I first met, he and his fellow South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly to secede, and on July 9, , the Republic of South Sudan declared its independence. But the honeymoon did not last long.
South Sudan came undone just two years later, when its liberation heroes turned their guns on each other, plunging the new nation back into chaos. Newly arrived refugees from South Sudan wait to be registered at the Ngomoromo, Uganda, border post to be transferred into a resettlement center on April 11, Today, South Sudan remains mired in conflict. Hundreds of thousands are dead, and more than 4 million have been displaced. It requires going back further, to the origins of the movement.
And it requires insights from its leaders, from their most ardent critics, and from ordinary South Sudanese. Three answers emerged. A new study, four years in the making, details the secret global supply chain sidestepping international arms embargoes on South Sudan. Its freedom fighters have turned into brutal oppressors, and it is near to becoming another failed state, despondent U. At the 14th Ordinary Summit held in Nairobi in , EAC heads of state approved the verification report that was presented by the Council of Ministers, then directed it to start the negotiation process with South Sudan.
A team was formed to assess South Sudan's bid; however, in April , the nation requested a delay in the admissions process, presumably due to South Sudanese Civil War. Those recommendations, however, had not been officially released to the public. It was reported that South Sudan could be admitted as early as November when the heads of East African States had their summit meeting.
South Sudan was eventually approved for membership in East African Community in March ,  and formally acceded with the signature of the treaty in April South Sudan has applied to join the Commonwealth of Nations ,  considering that South Sudan was part of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan , and has 2 Commonwealth republics , Kenya and Uganda as neighbouring countries. There are proposed extensions from Wau to Juba. There are also plans to link Juba with the Kenyan and Ugandan railway networks. Other international airports include Malakal , with international flights to Addis Ababa and Khartoum; Wau , with weekly service to Khartoum; and Rumbek , also with weekly flights to Khartoum.
Southern Sudan Airlines also serves Nimule and Akobo , which have unpaved runways. Several smaller airports exist throughout South Sudan, the majority consisting of little more than dirt runways. On 4 April , plans were unveiled to launch a South Sudanese national airline, primarily for domestic service at first but eventually expanding to international service. South Sudan is acknowledged to have some of the worst health indicators in the world. At the time of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of , humanitarian needs in Southern Sudan were massive.
However, humanitarian organizations under the leadership of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA managed to ensure sufficient funding to bring relief to the local populations. Along with recovery and development aid, humanitarian projects were included in the Work Plan of the United Nations and partners.
Famine reportedly led to deaths in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap states in mid, though the state governments of both denied hunger there was severe enough to cause fatalities. The government declared the area a disaster zone and took control from local authorities. The water supply in South Sudan is faced with numerous challenges. Although the White Nile runs through the country, water is scarce during the dry season in areas that are not located on the river.
The few existing piped water supply systems are often not well maintained and the water they provide is often not safe to drink. Displaced people returning home put a huge strain on infrastructure, and the government institutions in charge of the sector are weak.
Substantial external funding from numerous government agencies and non-governmental organizations is available to improve water supply. As of February , South Sudan was host to over , refugees , with the vast majority, over ,, having arrived recently from Sudan, because of the War in Darfur. On 20 February South Sudan and the United Nations declared a famine in parts of former Unity State , with the warning that it could spread rapidly without further action. Over , people were affected. An outbreak of fall armyworm further threatened sorghum and maize production by July From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the former autonomous regions that existed within the same territory as the current nation, see Southern Sudan Autonomous Region —83 and Southern Sudan Autonomous Region — For other uses, see Ross disambiguation. Country in Africa. Coat of arms. Registered, but not yet operational. Main article: History of South Sudan. See also: South Sudanese Civil War. Further information: Ethnic violence in South Sudan. Under control of the Government of South Sudan.
Under control of the Government of Sudan. Main article: Politics of South Sudan. Bahr el Ghazal. Greater Upper Nile. Main article: States of South Sudan. Main article: Sudan People's Liberation Army. Main article: Media of South Sudan. Main article: Foreign relations of South Sudan. Main article: Human rights in South Sudan. Main article: Geography of South Sudan. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
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Main article: Demographics of South Sudan. Largest cities or towns in South Sudan According to the Census .
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Main article: Education in South Sudan. Main article: Languages of South Sudan. Main article: Religion in South Sudan. Main article: South Sudanese diaspora. Main article: Sport in South Sudan. Main article: Economy of South Sudan. See also: List of companies based in South Sudan. Main article: Transport in South Sudan. Main article: Rail transport in South Sudan.
From Conflict to Cooperation? Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda
Main article: List of airports in South Sudan. Further information: Water supply in South Sudan. See also: Sudanese nomadic conflicts. Further information: South Sudan famine. Government of South Sudan. Archived from the original on 21 July Retrieved 12 July Retrieved 18 November Forthcoming in Sociolinguistic Studies, 12 1. Retrieved 9 September Sudanese government agrees to federal system with rebels — Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". Sudan Tribune. Addis Ababa. Retrieved 10 September Retrieved 14 July World Economic Outlook Database.
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Retrieved 8 November Archived from the original on 29 December Retrieved 2 January Kerbino Wol, a businessman, remained in detention without charge since April. National security and military officials have subjected civilian detainees to harsh conditions including beatings, electric shocks and other ill-treatment. Since the start of the conflict, countless people have disappeared or died in custody. In January , lawyer Dong Samuel and opposition member Aggrey Idri were abducted in Nairobi, Kenya and resurfaced in national security headquarters in Juba later that month.
The government announced the release of 21 detainees in August and another five in October. None of the former detainees who spoke to Human Rights Watch had been charged with crimes despite being detained for months. National security officials summoned, questioned, and harassed journalists and editors and censored newspaper articles. In February, the UN published a report identifying 60 incidents including killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions of journalists and editors, closure, suspension or censorship of newspapers and blocking of websites, from the period of July Dec In February and May, the NSS summoned the editor in chief of Juba Monitor and repeatedly warned her against publishing articles deemed critical of the government.
Authorities, particularly the NSS, continued to harass and intimidate members of civil society. Government measures including a requirement to obtain prior NSS authorization for the conduct of public meetings, bureaucratic registration processes and surveillance, have eroded the exercise of freedoms of speech and association. In February, Jonglei authorities issued a ministerial order dissolving all youth associations in the state for allegedly engaging in activities disrupting public order.
Civil society activists participating in the peace process faced intimidation and threats.
About South Sudan
In June, one female activist was threatened by a government representative in Addis and another surveilled. Similarly, four activists in exile in neighboring countries reported facing intimidation, threats and surveillance by authorities. He was released without charge in late October. In an annual report released in September, the United Nations Secretary General put South Sudan on a black-list of 38 states where individuals faced intimidation or reprisals for cooperating with the UN on human rights. In September, a South Sudanese military tribunal found 9 soldiers guilty of crimes committed during a July attack on a compound housing international aid workers.
Dozens of soldiers attacked the compound, killed a journalist, raped, gang raped and assaulted aid workers, and looted and destroyed property.
Related Sudan and South Sudan: From One to Two
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