Africa Debate: Has South Sudan lived up to expectations?

South Sudan post referendum celebrations

South Sudan marks its first independence anniversary next month following its separation from Sudan on 9 July, 2011.

After years of conflict with the north, expectations were huge and the celebrations momentous. Many hoped - and believed - that freedom would bring an end to the country's problems.

At independence, South Sudan was one of the least developed countries in Africa - with the highest maternal mortality and female illiteracy rates in the world.

A year on, what has changed?

South Sudan's first year has been hit by never-ending disputes with Sudan, with the pair seeming to be on the verge of a return to all-out conflict.

So have people's expectations been met or has the reality of independence simply failed to live up to the hype?

Can South Sudan ever overcome its troubled past?

What can and needs to be done to set South Sudan on the road to a brighter future?

These are some of the questions BBC Africa Debate will be exploring in its next edition due to be recorded and broadcast from Juba on 29 June 2012.

You can join the debate now by using the form below or via Twitter using #bbcafricadebate or @bbcafrica on Facebook and Google+


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    Comment number 11.

    Even if there had been real peace and a cooperative North for a year, one year would not be long to recover from so much war and destruction.

    One year - only one crop cycle, one new generation of cattle. Not enough time to change everything; just enough to start healing, teaching, building.

    If you can forgive, you will have good reason for hope.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    The new Nation is facing two biggest wars in our history, the War with North and the Corruption war. But the question is do really South Sudan will fight off those wars, I believe it will. We are looking forward and ready for the new challenge.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Last year I watched the new flag being raised in Juba with great joy and enthusiasm, tempered by fear for what would happen next, given the number of unresolved issues with the peace process. It should have been obvious to William Hague and others witnessing the birth of the new nation there was going to be trouble ahead, given the fighting in Abyei and Nuba, and UK shouldn't have abandoned them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Getting independent might be huge achievement but the real challenge lies ahead. The big question is; Can the leaders rise up to the expectation to fulfill the dreams of people? They should act in people interest to provide basic needs such as food,education, health and security if they want to see country moving forward and enjoy independent.


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