1.24.2011

The Republic of South Sudan?

Proposed Boarder for the Republic of South Sudan
Source: BBC
Independence - FINALLY!
After decades of struggle, conflict, and attempts at becoming independent, South Sudan has finally voted! The referendum allowing the Southern Sudanese to vote on secession from the north took place from January 9-15 and early results according the the New York Times show that 99% of those who have voted, voted for secession.

I must admit, I was quite skeptical on whether or not the referendum was actually going to take place. Seeing as my trust in Bashir is next to nothing, I was almost positive he wasn't going to give the oil-rich South up without a fight. I'm extremely enthusiastic that my predictions were wrong and that the referendum has not only taken place, but it occurred without significant violence!

Now that South Sudan has unofficially decided to become its own country, the people of the new nation get to begin the process of making a name, anthem, flag and all other things associated with being an independent country. The New York Times recently reported that the proposed name for the new African nation is 'The Republic of South Sudan'. Simple and easy enough to remember for me! This name apparently beat other suggested names such as "Azania, Nile Republic, Kush Republic and Juwama (an acronym for the three largest cities in Southern Sudan: Juba, Wau and Malakal)."
Proposed Flag for the new Republic of South Sudan
Sudan will soon give the title of 'largest country in Africa' to Algeria once it gains its independence on July 9, 2011. The Republic of South Sudan will also be the newest country in Africa in over a decade (Eritrea was the last country to become independent from Ethiopia in 1993). 

I'm hoping that with the Republic of South Sudan's secession from the north, most conflicts in Sudan will be over. However, the North-South split is not ending the ongoing genocide and conflict in Darfur since the Darfur region is located in the Western portion of North Sudan. 

Oil Fields in Sudan and the Disputed Abyei Region
Source: BBC
Besides Darfur, one region of concern remains: Abyei. This oil-rich region lies on the border between North Sudan and the future Republic of South Sudan. This poses a problem because most oil-reserves are located in South Sudan and because oil is such a big part of the nation's economy, Bashir will want any oil-rich area he can have for himself. Abyei has been through some tumultuous times recently with skirmishes here and there. Abyei is set to hold its own referendum on whether it wishes to be part of the North or South. The book 'Six Months in Sudan' is one of my favorite books which follows an MSF doctor to Abyei for six months on a medical mission. If you are looking for a little glimpse into what life in Abyei is like and why it is an important region then I'd really recommend reading it.

The final results for the Sudanese referendum should come out around the 6th or 14th of February (although I'm pretty sure all of us know the results already!). Although the process is just beginning for the new nation and the problems for Sudan as a whole are not over with Darfur and Abyei, I'm still excited for the prospect of a new start for South Sudan!

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful Karen!! I first thought its web page like a news agency then I realized by the second paragraphed this must be you. Well written.

    Could you research about the town/city called: Abeyi. It is said that its in a disputed area and
    because of that suffering great acts of violence and
    killings. I'm hoping that they too could find their
    place and be at peace.

    Keep well Karen. Niel

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey! Thanks for reading and for all the nice comments Niel! :)

    Of course I can do a bit of research on Abyei! I'm sure you aren't the only one to want to know more about the situation there. I know I for sure would like to know more. I'll create a post dedicated to Abyei once I'm done with some research! Thanks for the suggestion!
    -Karen

    ReplyDelete

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