Referendum raises hopes for independence in Southern Sudan

Just outside Juba, South Sudan
Just outside Juba, South Sudan

 

On Sunday morning, polls opened up for a referendum for secession in Southern Sudan. By July, independence will likely be declared, marking the birth of a new African nation according to files from The New York Times.

For the Southern Sudanese, this also marks the beginning of salvation and freedom; a dream they have been fighting for over the past half century.

Sudan is one of the largest and poorest countries in the world. Poverty is high and literacy is low.  While Northern Sudan is ruled by Arab and Islamic influences, the South is more ethnically akin to the rest of central Africa.

The streets of Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan are flooded with banners and loudspeakers, ripe with anticipation for secession. But splitting the African nation may bring up some new issues for the two countries.

Southern Sudan produces about 75% of the nation’s oil, and there are billions of dollars in debt that will need to be divided between the North and South. If independence is achieved, the two nations will still need to work together to overcome these hurdles.

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