Prospects for the Independence of Southern Sudan and its Implications for Political Developments in the Horn of Africa

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Addis Ababa University


The Horn of Africa where Sudan is a constituent part is considered a hotbed of crises that have local and global dimensions marked by rebel activities, military coups, ethnic and racial insurgencies, human rights violations, state collapse, and terrorism. Countries in the region are buffeted by group identity espousing goals associated with the aim of either selfdetermination within an existing nation-state or at times aspiring for secession, which is a political problem hindering the process of forging a sense of national identity in post-colonial Africa. The quest for self-determination did not end up with the secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia in 1993 dubbed a ‘last colony’ in Africa. This is in view of the fact that other movements with a potential of fracturing territorial integrity of the states are emerging in the region as exemplified by the outcomes of the January2011 self-determination referendum of Southern Sudan. Although the Comprehensive Peace Agreement provides for the total transformation of Sudan and thus making ‘unity attractive’, this came to be elusive in view of the final outcome of the referendum attesting the overwhelming tendency of Southern Sudan to the ‘new Southern Sudan’ vision aimed at effecting separation. However, the secession of Southern Sudan brings forth several issues that affect not only the various parties in the Sudan but also neighboring countries in the sub-region. Among the issues that intertwine the countries in the region, the issue of the Nile, resurgence of political Islam and secessionism stand out as having profound resonance in the context of Southern Sudan’s accession to independent statehood. These issues are probed thoroughly in the thesis through analysis of secondary sources and information obtained from pertinent primary sources



International Relation