To add to the tumultuous political dynamics of Africa, the world is most likely to see a new country adorning its map by the middle of this year with the two-way split of the continent’s largest country, Sudan. For Africa, which has again hit the international headlines for fresh troubles in Ivory Coast, Tunisia and most recently in Egypt, civil wars based on identity and protests against despotic governments are nothing new. However the larger question that has kept many wondering is whether the world is going to see a new era of a large-scale statebirth with the formation of South Sudan, a process that almost stopped barring the examples of Kosovo two years back or East Timor ten years back. As millions of jubilant south Sudanese in the city of Juba, went to vote in a long awaited independence referendum in the second week of January to see their war torn region emerge as a new nation, it will be important to revisit the troubling status quo of other regions of the world demanding secession. Continue reading Thus Sudan Splits, What’s Next for the Aspiring Rest?: Tanmoy Sharma→
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?