A Journey of a Thousand Steps: The Challenges of State and Nation Building in South Sudan
Series/Report no.Middle East Report;No 259
On July 9th, 2011, South Sudan will officially become independent. When southern Sudanese voted in the January 9 referendum on independence, they sought to affirm their African identity and shed the Arab identity that they felt had been imposed upon them by successive regimes in Khartoum. They also signaled their desire to be masters of their own destiny, displaying their lack of trust in the north's ability to meet their demands for fair sharing of wealth and power. But Africa's newest state will continue to share characteristics with the "old" Sudan that, if they are not addressed, bode ill for its prospects of a peaceful, democratic future. Much like northern Sudan, South Sudan will face three key challenges: diversity, democratic governance and security threats. In spite of its symbolic importance, the July 9 independence date marks not an end but a beginning on the arduous road of state and nation building.
Zahar, Marie-Joëlle. 2011. "A Journey of a Thousand Steps: The Challenges of State and Nation Building in South Sudan". Middle East Report (No) 259: 36-39.