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

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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

Latest Publications

Putin’s War Backfires as Finland, Sweden Seek to Join NATO

Putin’s War Backfires as Finland, Sweden Seek to Join NATO

Thursday, May 26, 2022

By: Wess Mitchell, Ph.D.

Only three months into Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the geopolitical ripple effects are being felt across the European continent. Motivated by Moscow’s aggression, Finland and Sweden have applied to join NATO, ending decades of both states’ respective non-aligned status. Finnish and Swedish NATO accession would boost the capabilities and defensibility of the alliance. Their joining NATO is a rebuke of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has bristled over the alliance’s post-Cold War expansion and used it as a pretext for his Ukraine incursion.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Biden’s Asia Trip Seeks to Revitalize Alliances, Focus on China

Biden’s Asia Trip Seeks to Revitalize Alliances, Focus on China

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

By: Frank Aum;  Mirna Galic;  Rachel Vandenbrink

President Biden made his first trip to East Asia beginning late last week, visiting South Korea and Japan, where he participated in a leader’s summit of the so-called Quad, which includes Australia, Japan and India. The president’s visit is part of a flurry of Asia-focused diplomatic initiatives in recent weeks including the U.S.-ASEAN summit, the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and an upcoming speech from Secretary of State Blinken, which is expected to lay out the contours of the administration’s China Policy.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Beyond the Summit of the Americas: Resetting U.S. Policy in Latin America

Beyond the Summit of the Americas: Resetting U.S. Policy in Latin America

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

By: Ambassador P. Michael McKinley (ret.)

Despite the Biden administration’s efforts to outline a new, positive vision for engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean, old fault lines are likely to come into play at the upcoming Summit of the Americas, which kicks off in Los Angeles on June 6. Both U.S. domestic politics and governments in the hemisphere with a more skeptical view of Washington and its intentions contribute to these tensions. A new U.S. perspective is required — one that takes into greater account the region’s diversity, priorities and political complexity. Without such a shift, the perception and reality of declining U.S. influence is only likely to deepen.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Frank Aum on Biden’s Visit to South Korea and Japan

Frank Aum on Biden’s Visit to South Korea and Japan

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

By: Frank Aum

Amid a flurry of Asia diplomatic initiatives, USIP’s Frank Aum says President Biden’s trip is a chance to show the United States is committed to having a major presence in the Indo-Pacific, but that “this is not something that happens in a single summit… We’re going to have to continue to strengthen those efforts.”

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

Global Peace Needs a Clear U.S. Reply to Putin’s Nuclear Threat

Global Peace Needs a Clear U.S. Reply to Putin’s Nuclear Threat

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

By: Mary Glantz, Ph.D.

As signs increase that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is failing to achieve President Vladimir Putin’s goals, he has hinted menacingly at using a chemical or nuclear weapon. This leads some western analysts to suggest offering Putin a face-saving exit from his crisis. That would be a simplistic answer to a complex challenge, rather than the finely balanced response that is needed. Worse, it would be dangerous, signaling to governments worldwide that armed aggression — especially with weapons of mass destruction at hand — is a sure path to wielding international power.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

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