by Peter Stern
It will be the first time in the world that a new nation is formed since the U.S.S.R. was dismantled and 15 new nations gained their independence back in the 1990s.
Northern and souther Sudan have always been in social and political turmoil since the nation's post-colonial times starting in 1956.
The northern Sudan maintains a Muslim and Arabian culture, while the south is grounded on a Christian foundation. There has generally been strife, animosity and distaste between the people of north and south Sudan. Bloody wars have been fought by most of the religious and cultural groups and finally 98 percent of the southern voters have decided to split from the north, which will result in Africa's largest separation.
|Above Map Courtesy of The New York Times|
Since a peace treaty signed in 2005 the south has been significantly running its own affairs, yet there are several important issues that must be resolved before the actual separation takes place.
First, there is concern regarding the final and legal border between the north and south.
Secondly, there are arguments surrounding the area of Abyer near the proposed border and whether north or south will ultimately claim the territory. The residents here are surrounded and affected by north and south cultures and politics that seem to impede its own growth, stability and direction.
Thirdly, and perhaps most significantly, the south Sudan is oil rich but is not located near a seaport. The oil pipeline must run from the south through the north so that the oil may be exported via the Red Sea. Consequently, despite the separation of north and south Sudan, the two separated nations would still have to maintain relations and must work together so both benefit from oil revenues.
The birth of the new nation of South Sudan is scheduled for the Summer of 2011 but there are many issues still requiring resolution prior to that time, including that a name must be selected for the new nation. A consensus is forming to name the new nation The Republic of South Sudan.
Many Americans have no knowledge of all the internal wars and progression of events that have led to the separation of the Sudan into two individual nations. In fact, many Americans may never be aware that in 2011 a new nation was born in Africa.