Wednesday , April 24 2024
A new nation is about to be born.

Welcome to the World, South Sudan

The residents of southern Sudan have voted overwhelmingly to split off from the northern part of the country. Pending final results and a peaceful process, South Sudan will be the newest nation on the planet, though it may not ultimately choose “South Sudan” as its name; the alternative “Nile Republic” sounds more appealing to potential tourists.

Formal independence would occur on July 9.

While the northern regime has pledged to support an amicable separation, several issues could cloud the process. There’s strife in the Abyei border region. Most of the oil reserves are in the south, which is inhabited mostly by Christians and animists, while the population of the north is primarily comprised of Arab Muslims. The status of the many southerners living and working in and around the northern capital, Khartoum, is uncertain; and many are heading south, worried about the possibility of the north falling under Sharia law. And the regime in the north is weak anyway—the country is about as close to a “failed state” as any nation on Earth, and there’s concern that the new nation may be another failed state in the making.

But among many in the south, where over 98% of voters have cast their ballots for separation, the mood is cautiously upbeat.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Music, where he covers classical music (old and new) and other genres, and Culture, where he reviews NYC theater. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at where he is on a mission to visit every park in New York City. He has also been a part-time working musician, including as lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado.

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