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Foreign Affairs

An Independence Day in Africa

As we speak about the Constitution, political rhetoric and the proper functions of government, it bears noting that a new nation is about to appear in Africa. Southern Sudan votes for independence today. A majority vote and 60% turnout are required for the referendum to be valid, but it seems that the southerners will meet those hurdles.

Southern Sudan - or whatever it will be called tomorrow - will initially become one of the most poverty stricken countries in the world. It will require great assistance from the U.S. and, hopefully, African neighbors, and security will continue to be a serious problem. But it will provide a lesson for the world to witness the comparative evolution from this point of an Islamic north Sudan under dictatorial sharia law and an anomalous Christian south Sudan which, one hopes, will adopt a moderate form of western democracy. 

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Discussions - 3 Comments

Happy day for them. Thanks for the post. I suppose this will be the West/Islamist version of the Cold War's North/South Korea.

I didn't think anyone was paying attention to this. The NGO my husband is involved with in Kenya is looking to extend their aid into the southern Sudan if the referendum passes. Then they can help there, which they cannot now, being Christians.

Yes, people are very excited about the possibility of freedom, especially freedom of religion in an independent state. It would be like North/South Korea if SK had oil or some other valuable natural resource. The oil in the south Sudan is a valuable asset for a nation whose main exports currently are cotton and gum arabic.

A *somewhat* similar case--albeit without the dimension of a different religion--is that of Somaliland, a relatively functional de facto (but still not formally recognized) state that has broken away from the failed state of Somalia.

There may be an Anglosphere connection, as it is the former colony of British Somaliland.

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