South Sudan: A Developing Opportunity

1943 Words8 Pages
Sudan has known conflict for most of its existence. The discovery of oil in 1979 served to heighten this conflict as north and south fought over valuable resources. In more recent years human rights violations and genocide have occurred in unsurpassed numbers with the Sudanese governments support. Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state with an issued arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. In July 2011 southern Sudanese citizens voted to secede from Sudan and form the Republic of South Sudan in response to years of oppression by the Arab led Islamist government. South Sudan is now the worlds newest country and free to determine its own path forward. What part will the United States play in South Sudan development? Will China continue to be the major influence in this region? The United States now has a rare opportunity to insert itself into the region and a chance to help create stability for the war torn region.

Sudan has been at war with itself since 1955 when the Arab-led Khartoum government reneged on promises to southerners to create a federal system which would allow them to influence and partake in the country’s government. According to Bureau of African Affairs (2012), “since independence, protracted conflict rooted in deep cultural and religious differences have slowed Sudan’s economic and political development and forced massive internal displacement of its people.” Northerners in Sudan have traditionally led the country and have sought to unify it under Arabism and Islam. Southerners, non-Muslims, and other marginalized peoples from the west and east have opposed this. In 1979 the Chevron Corporation discovered oil in the s...

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