South Sudan is celebrating its first year of independence from Sudan, but the euphoria of last year has given way to a harsh reality: Border wars with the north, internal violence and a shutdown of oil production are serious economic and security challenges.

"There's hope, there's pride, but you can't eat either of those ....Turn on the oil .... there's lots of things that can change, but for the moment, for the next few years there is no alternative, they have to work together. They need to cooperate now otherwise there's going to be mass starvation and possibly revolution in the North. They need to cooperate now."

- Paul Moorcraft, the director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Analysis

Without the income from oil production, South Sudan has no money to improve the lives of its people - instead it is cutting services and investment in the name of austerity. According to the UN half of the people in South Sudan do not have enough to eat.

Sudan is also facing a series of problems: The country lost 75 per cent of its oil revenues after its seperation with the South and Juba's decision last January to shut down its oil pipelines. As a consequence, the economy is struggling with soaring inflation and depreciation of the Sudanese pound.
President Omar al-Bashir has made a series of deep cuts and the austerity measures have prompted a rise in transport costs and a doubling of fuel and food prices.
This economic meltdown has sparked angry street protests and some Sudanese are now calling for Bashir to step down.

So, has the split brought progress or regression for the two countries? How will the worsening situation shape interaction between Juba and Khartoum? Is there an alternative to interdependence? Can the two neighbours live without each other eventually?

Inside Story, with presenter Sami Zeidan, discusses with guests: El Samani El Wasila, a member of parliament and former minister of state for the Sudanese government; Paul Moorcraft, the director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Analysis; and Atem Yaak Atem, South Sudan's deputy minister of Information.

"South Sudan is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world – that's a long road they have to walk on – the international community is in solidarity with them and trying to help them on that road – and we hope that once agreement between Sudan and South Sudan is reached, the journey on that road can accelerate and we can see the state take off."

Lise Grande, UN humanitarian co-ordinator


  • South Sudanese are celebrarting their nation's first anniversary
  • South Sudan broka away from Sudan after an independence vote in July 2011
  • independence came after decades of war that killed more than 2 million people
  • Border fighting with Sudan keeps regional tensions high
  • Religious leaders on both sides are calling for reconciliation
  • austerity measures in Sudan led to demonstrations calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down
  • 120,000 people have fled fighting and bombing in Blue Nile since September
  • South Sudan struggles with a severe economic crisis, it is one of the poorest countries of the world
  • Oil provides South Sudan with 98 per cent of its revenue
  • In April 2012, South Sudan decided to halt oil production in the disputed border area
  • Without the income from oil production, South Sudan has no money to improve the lives of its people
  • One-fifth of the people in South Sudan are suffering from chronic hunger

Source: Al Jazeera