South Sudan’s transition to independence was never going to be easy.
The people’s overwhelming desire for secession from the North expressed in January’s referendum was only the start.
The following month, disgruntled militias opposed to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) autonomous government, set off a vicious spate of killings and reprisals which this week crossed the grim milestone of 1000 deaths. The violence has included the murder World Food Programme staff, prompting the organization to withdraw from large swathes of the state-to-be and leaving some 240,000 people without critical food rations.
Some commentators are now speculating that as violence and hunger spreads, the Republic of South Sudan could collapse as soon as it comes into being on July 9th.
Worryingly, this may not even be the biggest threat that the international community’s newest member faces.
After initially declaring that he would formally recognize the imminent declaration of independence, the (North) Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is now rolling back on his commitment, due to disputes surrounding the oil-rich region of Abyei. As part of the peace agreement that ended the two-decade-long Sudanese Civil War and led to the Southern referendum, Abyei was set to hold its own plebiscite. However, neither the buoyed South nor the wounded North has been prepared to make any compromise in detailed talks and consequently the vote yet to take place. Ominously, as fighting spreads across Abyei, Al-Bashir has openly stated that his dictatorial government will “never ever recognise” an independent South Sudanese state that includes it.
read the entire article at The Abyei Factor