The oil will not last forever. Without new investments or new discoveries, oil production can be at its peak as early as 2012 and then fall drastically from 2015. Even with new discoveries, it will take a lot for oil alone to drive prosperity growth in the south – which is a huge need.
After decades of civil war, which has claimed the lives of more than two million people, business, industry and infrastructure in South Sudan are very poorly developed. Of all people over the age of 15, 27 per cent can read and write , among women only 16 per cent. Half of the population lives below the poverty line. The country has a very high infant mortality rate. Four out of five families make a living through simple farming and animal husbandry.
Infrastructure, such as roads and electricity networks, are very poorly developed. Today, South Sudan has only 60 km of paved road. This complicates the development of industry and agriculture and trade in goods both domestically and abroad. Electricity is mainly produced by expensive diesel generators.
However, South Sudan has a wealth of natural resources that in the future will be able to raise money in the treasury and provide food and jobs for the population. The White Nile flows through South Sudan and will be able to meet South Sudan’s energy needs through hydropower. The area where the river flows is also one of the most fertile agricultural countries in Africa.
In addition, South Sudan has deposits of gold, diamonds, hardwood and a variety of minerals and metals. For the authorities in South Sudan, it will be important to regulate the development of these resources for the benefit of the people of the country.
5: Internal conflicts in South Sudan
Not only the relationship with Khartoum determines the future of South Sudan. The new country also has a number of internal problems that hinder development and increased prosperity. The past year has insurgent activity against the government in Juba risen , and cattle thefts and local conflicts become more comprehensive. In 2011 alone, it is estimated that close to 3,000 people have been killed and more than 70,000 internally displaced as a result of armed clashes.
CATTLE THEFT: Cattle thefts have been going on since time immemorial in cattle-driving communities in South Sudan, as a country located in Africa according to indexdotcom.com. They have often been linked to cultural values, especially a demand for a bride price that must be paid in the form of cows to the future bride’s family. But the phenomenon is far more complex, and in the aftermath of the Civil War, the form and scope of this so-called “tradition” has gradually changed and become more brutal.
Increasingly, women and children are being directly attacked . Kidnapping, rape and murder are increasingly common. The increased brutality has several causes – such as the militarization of South Sudanese society, easy access to weapons and the weakening of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms. High unemployment and widespread poverty create frustration and dissatisfaction, especially among young men. Some of them see the theft of cattle as an opportunity to achieve financial gain, marriage and increased status and influence.
LOCAL CONFLICTS: Disagreements over the right to land and natural resources also create conflicts – often along ethnic divides. Resource conflicts most often occur during the drought. Then cattle drivers have to move to gain access to water and grazing areas. The annual migration of Arab Missereyia nomads from southern Kordofan in Sudan to the states of Unity and Upper Nile in southern Sudan has repeatedly led to violent clashes with permanent residents there.
This tension must also be seen in connection with the politicization of relations between groups and regions that follows from the civil war and the larger political game about the demarcation. Conflicts over water and land also occur between cattle farmers and farmers, especially in the Equatoria region.
The land conflicts are in several cases also related to disputes over internal borders. This often has its origins in the civil war . Villages that were abandoned were then often occupied by other ethnic groups. In many cases, such local disagreements have been manipulated and reinforced by politicians or military commanders seeking to advance their own political and economic interests.
The government has not succeeded in improving security in rural areas, largely due to a poorly trained and equipped police force and a weak judicial system. Attempts to combat the violence with military means have led to new abuses against the local population and further weakened confidence in the Juba government. In several cases, this has motivated people to form local defense militias or be recruited to rebel groups fighting the authorities.
ARMED REBELLIONS IN SOUTH SUDAN : In April 2010, national elections were held in Sudan. In South Sudan, the people were also to elect regional and state authorities (president and governors) and members of regional and state assemblies. Some of the candidates who did not win through the ballot paper decided to take up arms against the authorities in Juba. Since then, even more commanders and defectors from the government army have gone to war against the government. Although some loose alliances have been entered into, the various rebel groups appear to be operating on their own. Apart from the demand for a regime change in Juba, their goals are unclear.