South Sudan marks the birth of the world’s 193rd sovereign nation. Recognised by the UN and the international community, the outlook is promising.
The consistent conflict between the mainly Muslim northern and the southern people of mainly indigenous beliefs appears to have come to a permanent end.
Roughly two million people died as a result of the violence, famine and disease caused by the Sudanese civil war. Four million people in southern Sudan were displaced at least once (and often repeatedly) during the war.
The civilian death toll was one of the highest of any war since World War II.
…regional tensions remain…
The war came to an official end in 2005 with the signing of a peace agreement. Following the Southern Sudanese independence referendum this year, Southern Sudan elected to become an independent nation.
However, while the Southern Sudanese may now have its independence from what it saw as an exploitive and mainly Muslim north, regional tensions remain.
The ethnic Nuba people signed up with the Southern People’s Liberation Army when the civil war broke out in 1983. However, they now find themselves on the northern side of the border in the wake of South Sudan’s independence yesterday.
…an indiscriminate campaign of killing civilians.
According to Al Jazeera, there are now reports of civilians being killed in Southern Kordofan, the homeland of the Nuba peoples. The UN chief Ban Ki-Moon says he is extremely concerned about the situation there.
Callum McRae, a journalist for Al Jazeera, discovered evidence that the Sudanese government is pursuing an indiscriminate campaign of killing civilians.
Yet again, war crimes are appearing in the footnotes of Sudanese history.
Abdul Aziz al-Halum, the leader of the Southern Kordofan rebel forces, called for “fundamental change in Khartoum” in an interview with Callum McRae.
The region once again prepares for war.