South Sudan and the Nation-Building Project: Lessons and Challenges
Posted: 11 Apr 2017
Date Written: October 10, 2013
Over the past 50 years of independence in Africa, no event has captured the minds and imaginations of activists, scholars and policy makers and has challenged the conscience of the global community like political violence. South Sudan has just completed a referendum on self-determination. The Republic of South Sudan was inaugurated on 9 July 2011. The challenge that lies ahead for the new republic is that faced by all African states: it must reform the colonial state inherited at independence, build a more inclusive political community that effectively manages diversity, upholds the rule of law and practises democracy in governance. This article contributes to the development of the New Sudan Framework, an alternative solution to the intractable conflict in Sudan and a model for solving the problems of political violence in Africa. In the first section the author argues that the current rise in ethnic violence across South Sudan and the border regions is due to the failure to reform the colonial state inherited from Great Britain in the late 20th century. Violence in the disputed regions is analysed to illustrate the dilemma that faces both North and South Sudan in a post-referendum era. Lastly, the author argues that the way out of the current predicament in the disputed regions and the way to build a more inclusive political community in the North and South that respects unity in diversity is contained in the conceptual framework known as the New Sudan, which was articulated by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).
Keywords: Abyei, Blue Nile, border regions, citizenship crisis, colonialism, disputed regions, Kordofan, nation building, New Sudan, political violence, South Sudan, Sudan, Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
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