A State of Contradiction: Sudan’s Unity Goes South

L. de Vries, Mareike Schomerus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


South Sudan’s secession was either an unavoidable outcome of a post-colonial betrayal of political promises or a surprising result of muddled and contradictory developments during which, at crucial points, dynamics nonetheless aligned. It was, this chapter argues, because of these contradictions that South Sudan came into being: from its colonial past through a series of rebellions with competing ambitions, via the contradictory 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (that supported both Sudan’s unity and southern autonomy), to the internationally-supported independence referendum. Lack of clarity about whether or not the leaders of South Sudan pursued secession ultimately made its achievement possible. The most tragic contradiction is that in the process of creating South Sudan, its leaders replicated the political marginalization from which their country had sought to escape.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecessionism in African Politics
Subtitle of host publicationAspiration, Grievance, Performance, Disenchantment
EditorsLotje de Vries, Pierre Englebert, Mareike Schomerus
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783319902067
ISBN (Print)9783319902050
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePalgrave Series in African Borderlands Studies

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    de Vries, L., & Schomerus, M. (2019). A State of Contradiction: Sudan’s Unity Goes South. In L. de Vries, P. Englebert, & M. Schomerus (Eds.), Secessionism in African Politics: Aspiration, Grievance, Performance, Disenchantment (pp. 423-454). (Palgrave Series in African Borderlands Studies). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90206-7_15