By: Samantha Retrosi
Happy Independence Day!
July 9th, 2011 marked South Sudan’s birthday: day one in the existence of the world’s newest nation! In January 2011, the South took to the polls, in which an overwhelming majority (99%) voted to split from Sudan. South Sudanese freedom is the final outcome of a 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that put an end to Africa’s lengthiest civil war. Marked by the death of 1.5 million people and the displacement of 4 million more, this date concluded nearly 22 years of conflict.
South Sudan will start its own history accompanied by an unexpected birthday gift: freedom from the $38 billion debt carried by a formerly unified Sudan. In the past, other nations such as Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and South Africa have not been so lucky and inherited unjust debts from past regimes. Starting off debt free is nothing less than momentous for the new nation but this does not come without its own unique difficulties, especially for the new southern state. The trouble is: how can South Sudan stay debt free?