Foreign Relations In Southern Sudan

Since independence, relations with Sudan have been changing. South Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir first announced, in January 2011, that dual citizenship in the North and the South would be allowed, but upon the independence of South Sudan he retracted the offer. He has also suggested an EU-style confederation.

Essam Sharaf, Prime Minister of Egypt after the 2011 Egyptian revolution, made his first foreign visit to Khartoum and Juba in the lead-up to South Sudan's secession.

Israel quickly recognized South Sudan as an independent country, and is host to thousands of refugees from South Sudan, who are now ready to return to their native country.

While the United States lifted all economic and political sanctions against South Sudan as of July 2011, the sanctions imposed against neighboring Sudan, especially those relating to oil and financial sector transactions; will likely to continue to impact the new nation. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report, “The Republic of South Sudan: Opportunities and Challenges for Africa’s Newest Country", identifies outstanding political and humanitarian issues as the country forges its future.

Membership Organizations

South Sudan is a member state of the United Nations and the African Union.

South Sudan plans to join the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Commonwealth of Nations, the East African Community, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

Full membership in the Arab League has been assured, should the country's government choose to seek it, though it could also opt for observer status. However, there are rumours that South Sudan may opt to subscribe to the East African Community that is currently made up of Uganda, Rwanda, kenya, Tanzania and Burundi.

South Sudan was also admitted to UNESCO on 3 November 2011.

Human Rights

Campaigns of atrocities against civilians have been attributed to the SPLA. In the SPLA/M's attempt to disarm rebellions among the Shilluk and Murle, they burned scores of villages, raped hundreds of women and girls and killed an untold number of civilians.

Civilians alleging torture claim fingernails being torn out, burning plastic bags dripped on children to make their parents hand over weapons and villagers burned alive in their huts if rebels were suspected of spending the night there.

In May 2011, the SPLA allegedly set fire to over 7,000 homes in Unity State. The UN reports many of these violations and the frustrated director of one Juba-based international aid agency calls them "human rights abuses off the Richter scale". In 2010, the CIA issued a warning that "over the next five years, a new mass killing or genocide is most likely to occur in southern Sudan."