Tags: Short Analysis: Refuges Strain South Sudan

Short Analysis: Refuges Strain South Sudan

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 08:52 AM

The four-day-old Republic of South Sudan is already facing serious tensions from an exploding population and lack of government institutions or infrastructure. The caretaker government has announced plans for a new currency and promised to avoid making significant policy decisions, but has not announced the length of its term or electoral provisions. According to the Washington Times, more than 1,000 refugees are pouring into the country every day, and 315,000 people have arrived since November. The country has few jobs, poor health care, and lacks essential services such as clean water and adequate housing.


The euphoria over independence and escape from the dominant Muslim Arab population of Sudan could fade significantly in coming months. Refugees used to living in Khartoum are likely to become disillusioned with the difficult living conditions, as well as linguistic and cultural differences if the government is unable to improve the situation. Long-term residents could become resentful as newcomers consume already scarce resources. Although oil revenue offers a respite to the poverty, it is unclear whether the government can successfully produce and ship the oil, which must pass through Sudan to reach international markets. Lacking mechanism to improve economic conditions or resolve internal tensions, divisions could divide the country along tribal lines and between new refugees and long-time residents, threatening stability and peace in the fledgling country.

[Lisa M. Ruth is a former CIA analyst and officer. She is currently Managing Partner of C2 Research, a boutique research and analysis firm in West Palm Beach, Florida and is Vice President at CTC International Group, Inc., a private intelligence firm.]

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Short Analysis: Refuges Strain South Sudan
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 08:52 AM
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