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November 17, 2011

The Two Sudans: "The risk of a full-blown war."

On July 9 of this year, South Sudan, located in one of the poorest and troubled regions of the world, seceded from Sudan (now North Sudan) and became an independent state. Even though South Sudan's secession followed both a referendum reflecting overwhelming popular support for the split and the consent of North Sudan's embattled president, old and new issues (the article quite understandably barely scratches the surface) combine to make the transition daunting. Two transitional issues are that North Sudan lost 75% of its 500,000 bpd oil production to the split, and that many South Sudanese already vehemently disapprove of and distrust their new government. See "Rumours of War" in the current issue of The Economist. It begins:

Buffeted by financial squalls and fearful of a Libyan-like upheaval, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, is digging in hard. He is hammering groups opposed to his National Congress Party, while using his army and rebel proxies to bait South Sudan, his diminished country’s newly independent neighbour.

Fighting in the south’s Unity state, close to the border, has left scores dead. A lot more have died in South Kordofan, a state within his rump Sudan, just north of the new border, where ethnic Nuba are pressing for control of a mountain range.

Posted by JD Hull at November 17, 2011 03:37 AM

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