Q&A-Is south Sudan ready for independence?

Mon Feb 7, 2011 3:21pm GMT

By Jeremy Clarke

JUBA, Sudan Feb 7 (Reuters) - Southern Sudanese have reacted to years of civil war by voting almost unanimously to secede from the north, sealing its fate as the world's newest nation.

The region was devastated by three decades of civil war but is rich in resources. Under a 2005 peace deal the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has ruled the south with a high degree of autonomy, helped by billions of dollars in donor funding and oil revenues.

Southern officials say the question of a name for the new state is unresolved but it could become just "South Sudan".

But can the south survive as an independent state?

Here are some questions and answers.


Some analysts say little will change after the vote.

"Currently, the southern government has a lot of operational independence. It has its own legislature, its own security forces and control over an unprecedented amount of government wealth due to oil revenues," said Marc Gustafson, a Sudan scholar at Oxford University.   Continued...

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