South Sudan is the newest country in the world, it has joined the league of African countries after breaking off from Sudan, a country that has been ravaged by war and famines over few decades. The new South Sudan is officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, with its capital in Juba, after becoming an independent state on the 9th of July 2011. The Southern Sudan independence is coming as an aftermath of the peace agreement of 2005 reached with Sudan. The Republic of South Sudan has also joined the United Nations on the 14th of July 2011 as an official member state.
Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly has ratified an interim constitution and this was signed into law by the first elected president; Mr Salva Kiir Mayardit to take effect from the independence day. This new constitution becomes the new supreme law of the land. The constitution recognises a mixed presidential system of Government. The new government has the President as the head, head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The new constitution also establish two houses of National Legislative: The elected National Legislative Assembly and a second chamber of representatives of the state; forming the council of states.
The official language of South Sudan is English, while a few also speaks Arabic. The population is currently about 6 million and the region has been affected by over two decades of war, causing major depletion in resources, infrastructure, noticeable destructions and massive displacement of its populace. The war has led to the deaths of over 2 Million people in the region and there are many displaced as refugees in many countries. A lot of southern Sudanese are currently taking refuge in Israel and are happy to come back home to the new country to join in developing the new nation. Most of the residents of South Sudan live in rural and subsistence society, with no adequate electricity, water or other infrastructures. The larger part of Southern Sudanese practice traditional religions, the rest majority are Christians. South Sudan have about 200 Ethnic groups, each with different languages.
The new Government of South Sudan has a lot to do in the area of its economy, the new country has one of the weakest economy in the world and very underdeveloped, due to war and infrastructural depletion. The region ranks very high in infant/maternal mortality and female illiteracy. A lot of work needs to be done as most of the sectors needs to be developed from scratch, areas such as health and education needs urgent attention. South Sudan has many natural resources, which if well managed will help the new government’s drive to achieve an improved economy. South Sudan is noted to be very prominent in international timber exportation and many other natural resources like; petroleum, iron ore, zinc, chromium ore, copper, mica, silver and gold. The economy of southern Sudan has always been dependent on arid agriculture, however, there is the prospect of a quick recovery due to large deposit of petroleum in the region.
There have been lots of acrimony between the Southern and Northern Sudan over sharing revenues from the Oilfields, the two regions are still working on a viable agreement on how the revenues should be shared. Northerners have been pushing for a 50-50 split of the Oilfield revenues. Whichever way it goes, South Sudanese stands to gain and needs to start implementing the much needed infrastructural and human development. There is also need to decide on issues such as drawing up the new border, the rights that southerners will have in the north, how the wealth and debt will be divided and whether the new country will have its own currency.
The greatest challenge is changing the mindset of average South Sudanese, most especially the young men of Juba, whose majority have guns. These able bodied men have been trained to take up arms in defence of the territory due to wars that have lasted a few decades and to fight for independence that is now achieved. There is urgent need to improve the health and education sector which is in very bad shape at the moment. There have been large investments in the defence of the economy, these investments now needs to be channelled towards developing human resource base of the economy and infrastructures. Welcome to the newest country in the world, the Republic of South Sudan.