Would the secession of South Sudan be good for Africa?

On January 6th, it is almost certain that a referendum in South Sudan will lead to a vote to secede from the rest of the country, thus paving the way to the formal inauguration of Africa’s 54th sovereign state. The vote comes after many years of discord between Sudan’s Arab-and-Muslim north and its black, animist and Christian south, and civil war in which almost 2m have died. Thus, divorce seems the only option in Sudan’s case. However, many in Africa, including the African Union, which has long inveighed in principle against secessionist tendencies in Africa, worry that it could set a trend that encourages other self-determination movements on the continent, potentially causing instability and worse. Others argue that the right of all peoples to self-determination must be allowed to hold good. In these terms, would the secession of South Sudan be good for Africa?

Well, you can cast your vote here.

See also: Celebrations across south as millions flock to polling stations.

One thought on “Would the secession of South Sudan be good for Africa?”

  1. I am sure the problem of South Sudan is far more profound than a TV tamasha where SMS votes decide the outcome. So it seems highly unlikely that anyone will care a hoot for my vote cast here. However, for not only the rest of the African continent but also the rest of the world, obsessed as it is with the sanctity and the inviolability of nation-states, it would be exemplary if the vote emerges in favour of secession.

    At another, not-as-frivolous-as-it-may-seem level, the framing of the question “Would the secession of South Sudan be good for Africa?” reminds me of Lorenz’s rhetorical, possibly definitive question in Chaos Theory: “Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?” Let us translate that into geopolitical terms, and ponder if either the seceded part of Sudan (whatever it chooses to call itself) or the other countries in Africa, have enough in common to cause much concern on a continental scale.


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