South Sudan

Authored by: Walt Kilroy

Routledge Handbook of State Recognition

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815354871
eBook ISBN: 9781351131759
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter considers the process by which South Sudan achieved statehood in 2011, after a long and difficult process costing millions of lives. It looks at ways in which this region was always distinct from the rest of the Sudan, both in colonial times and following Sudanese independence in 1956. Two separate wars were fought in which greater autonomy or self-determination was sought. The peace agreements ending each of these included the possibility of creating a more democratic, secular Sudan which would accommodate the South. But this was hard to realise, so the option of a referendum on independence became the obvious choice for South Sudanese, who endorsed it by 99%. Independence and international recognition for the new state followed quickly, but it has toppled towards civil war and state failure since breaking away from Sudan.

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