Hundreds of south Sudanese celebrated long and hard after referendum results showed they had won the right to form their own newly independent nation.
More than 98 per cent of voters from Sudan’s oil-producing south have chosen to secede from the north as part of the 2005 peace accord ending decades of bloodshed.
Although there seems to be good will on both sides – President Omar Hassan al-Bashir says he accepts the result and the south’s Salva Kiir promises support over sanctions – there is still a long to-do list.
Southern Sudan Minister for Culture and Heritage, Gabriel Changson Chang said: “The immediate challenges include how to resolve amicably the outstanding issues between North and South in terms of Abyei, in terms of border demarcation, in terms of petroleum arrangements, in terms of currency and banking, in terms of debts and assets, in terms of citizenship.”
And all that before the July 9 independence day. There is still also the matter of a name.
In the meantime, the EU has given its support and the US intends to remove the country from its state sponsors of terrorism list, thereby freeing up international loans.