From autonomy to independence : the challenges of nation-building in South Sudan.
Akwanga, Ebenezer Derek Mbongo.
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This study explores the dynamic process of the now Republic of South Sudan‘s achievement of independence after years of autonomy, with a focus on the challenges confronting nation-building efforts in the world‘s youngest nation. The author has a special interest in the study because of his direct involvement in the struggle for external self-determination in his Homeland, the former Barotseland. He followed the events prior to, during and after South Sudan‘s independence with close interest. The hope of attaining independence endured for decades, even when the country was in the grip of one of the most disastrous civil wars. Despite immense challenges and setbacks, South Sudan has managed to rise from the dust of civil war and the limitations of a contradictory autonomy to a new dawn as an independent state. The purpose of this study is fourfold. First, it examines recent national and international processes that contributed to the making of the world‘s youngest country, the Republic of South Sudan, grounding the discussion on the nation-building theory. Secondly, the study provides a case study analysis of other African and Asian nations that have undergone similar or near-similar nation-building processes. Thirdly, through an empirical investigation using primary data, the study identifies the challenges confronting South Sudan in its nation-building quest, and considers the country‘s future prospects. Finally, based on the available literature, the study makes a number of recommendations regarding the challenges facing this young, troubled, yet promising nation.