South Sudan Continues to Look Toward the Future

Despite the uncertainty that surrounds an upcoming referendum on South Sudanese independence, South Sudan continues to prepare for statehood. The referendum will only be the beginning for the new nation.

South Sudan Landscape by sidelife


More than 20 southern Sudanese political parties have agreed to hold a fresh census, new elections and rewrite the constitution if the south secedes as expected in less than three months.

The five-day conference in the southern capital Juba also agreed a broad-based, post-secession interim government would be headed by South Sudan President Salva Kiir until new elections.

South Sudan is also training 6,500 police cadets in anticipation of the referendum and what comes after:

They are being taught to perform crowd control, secure polling stations and other skills they will need for the planned January 9 referendum that is expected to see south Sudan vote to secede from the north. They are also ready to handle public disturbances, keep the peace and deal with crime.

In a sense, this activity is nothing new. As commenter Lee (Roving Bandit) said in September, “South Sudan has been a defacto independent country for at least the last 5 years anyway, and will continue to be autonomous even in the event of unity.” Still, independence would/will bring new complications and considerations for South Sudan, domestically, regionally, and internationally. Conducting a census, holding elections, re-writing the constitution, expanding the police force, and boosting their military will not be easy tasks. The current round of preparations could be an effective start at tackling some of those priorities.


2 thoughts on “South Sudan Continues to Look Toward the Future

  1. The army issue is complicated by the external threat. This article by Sean McFate on rebuilding the Liberian army describes how the army was reorientated post-conflict to internal security and protection of civilians, rather than focusing on external security and protection of the state. Southern Sudan will need to do that whilst still watching their northern border.

    • That’s a fascinating article. Seems like having a large staff – enough to vet individuals by traveling to their home communities! – was key to the success.

      What do you think South Sudan will do about the LRA?

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