South Sudan gained independence on July 9, 2011. USIP monitored the developments preceding and following this dramatic event.


In January 2011, southern Sudan voted for independence through a referendum. Although Sudanese President Omar Bashir acknowledged this result, the road to independence remained plagued by unresolved issues of sharing oil revenues, defining disputed borders, and deliberating citizenship laws. Moreover, southern Sudan continued to suffer from challenges of severe underdevelopment, poor governance, and persistent ethnic divisions. Nonetheless, South Sudan gained independence on July 9, 2011.

On the Issues

  • Sudan at Risk | May 23, 2011:  USIP experts discuss the recent hostilities in Abyei and why it threatens the stability of the soon-to-be Republic of South Sudan and the overall region.
  • Peace in Sudan | June 13, 2011:  USIP experts discuss the recent troubling developments in Sudan and why there are renewed concerns about prospects for peace in Sudan.
  • South Sudan Independence | July 1, 2011: USIP expert Jon Temin provides a preview of South Sudan's upcoming independence.
  • Despite Violence, South Sudan Preparing for Independence | July 1, 2011: Deadly attacks in two of the ethnically mixed regions along the tense north-south border are testing the durability of the Sudanese peace process.
  • Just Days from Independence, South Sudan Approves Transitional Constitution | July 7, 2011:  On July 6, the legislative assembly approved the transition constitution that political leaders and legal specialists include USIP experts have been working on for months.
  • South Sudan's Independence | July 11, 2011:  After witnessing the independence celebrations, USIP Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow describes what secession means for the future of the two Sudans.

Events and Multimedia on Independence