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News analysis: Concerns mount over South Sudan's future as split approaches

07-04-2011 08:43 BJT

KHARTOUM, July 3 (Xinhua) -- As the date for official declaration of South Sudan separation on July 9 is approaching, concerns are mounting over the future of the newly born state and its ability to overcome difficulties which are threatening its stability.

Sudanese analysts believed that the soon to be declared South Sudan would face great security, economic and political challenges that could disturb the joy of the southerners with the establishment of their state for which they have been waiting for long.

In this respect, Hassan Bayoumy, a Sudanese military expert, told Xinhua that "the most prominent challenge which will face South Sudan is the security challenge as there are many armed militias launching attacks against areas in the region."

"There is a state of disagreement between the standing government in South Sudan and some important political components in the region. There is dissatisfaction towards the domination of the Dinka tribe over the government besides lack of real unity among the southerners themselves."

He went on saying that "other challenges also include non- distribution of the opportunities among the southern Sudanese political parties in the government besides the demands by the people of the oil-producing areas of a share in the produced oil, particularly that most of the oil production comes from the areas of the Nuer tribe which has great numbers of armed militias in the south."

Regarding the economic aspect, Somia Sayed, a Sudanese economic analyst, told Xinhua that "there are many challenges facing South Sudan in the coming phase, top of them the infrastructures."

"The issue of the infrastructures can constitute a real problem for the leadership of South Sudan government and a great burden for the economy of the new state which will be seeking for economic stability to fulfill its commitments to its citizens who have waited for long to receive their rights from their own state, " she added.

She further said that "I think South Sudan State, despite its huge resources, will need technical and financial potentiality to exploit its available resources."

"Among important economic issues for the success of South Sudan State is that it should resolve the outstanding issues between north and south Sudan including the oil and the water files and how to run these files in a rational manner that ensures establishment of a strong state alongside north Sudan," added Sayed.

Sayed believed that South Sudan maintains fertile agricultural lands, saying "for the new state to exploit its agricultural lands and better utilize them, it needs financial and technical potentiality. Additionally, the new state lacks trained occupational and technical cadres."

Sayed further stressed the importance of formulating a clear economic plan by the South Sudan government, opening the door for investment and making use of the infrastructures and technical cadres found in north Sudan, saying that "South Sudan has no way but to cooperate with north Sudan in all fields to ensure establishment of a strong state."

Khalid Dirar, a professor of political science at Al-Rasid Center for Strategic Studies in Khartoum, in the meantime, believed that South Sudan needed a political effort to reduce the security danger resulting from the tribal violence and armed conflicts together with the spread of armed militias.

"Tribes have been fighting each other for a long time at some areas. Most of these tribal clashes were due to cattle looting. Additionally, there are at least seven rebel armed militias fighting against the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit," he told Xinhua.

"South Sudan government has not exerted enough effort to contain the rebels. The (South Sudan) government has adopted the style of military confrontation and failed to defuse the tension. Therefore, there is a need for political settlements to ensure stability of the south," he added.

He further said that "the South Sudan government must work to unite all the ethnic groups to achieve a relative peace following the separation of the region, particularly that some tribes in the south do not hide their anger over the Dinka tribe's control of the state institutions."

The UN said that more than 1,800 people have died this year in violence across southern Sudan just a few days ahead of the official declaration of the region's independence.

According to UN statistics, about 1,836 people have been killed by tribal or rebel violence, including 273 in the first two weeks of June in more than 300 violent incidents across nine of the south's 10 states.

The UN figures also indicated that there were more than 260,000 displaced persons in South Sudan, including about 100,000 who fled from the disputed oil-rich border area of Abyei.

Around 2 million people were killed in the civil war between north and south Sudan, which ended by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), inked between the two sides in 2005.

The CPA stipulated a referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan, which was conducted on Jan. 9, 2011, where more than 98 percent of the southerners voted for independence.


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Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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