"Tunisia Effect" Grips Northern Sudan As South Votes To Secede
Both are highly underdeveloped.
Following a referendum that carried the support of more than 99 percent of South Sudanese, Africa's largest country (and one of its poorest) is set to become two.
Leaders on both sides hope to alleviate decades of ethnic and religious conflict:
"Southern Sudan is one of the least developed areas in the world and many of its people have have long complained of mistreatment at the hands of the Khartoum government [in the north]."
The north/south divide has also exacerbated the longstanding misery in Darfur (a western region containing northern and southern land). The conflict in Darfur (originally between rebel forces and Khartoum) has brought at least 300,000 deaths, mostly of black non-Arabs killed by government forces.
Leaders will also contend with the process of sharing the country's oil, which has made Sudan Africa's third-largest oil exporter. Southern Sudan is expected to take control of 80 percent of Sudan's oil production.
Meanwhile, Northern Sudan has been swept up in anti-government protests, apparently inspired by events in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Yemen:
"Hundreds of young people in the country’s north were beaten by police with batons in the sporadic antigovernment protests. Armed police surrounded at least six universities today to prevent students from leaving the campuses, according to Reuters. Students in Khartoum University were tear gassed in their dormitories late Sunday, leaving at least five injured."
It appears than young North Sudanese are envious of the south's newfound right to self-determination and are attempting to follow suit.