South Sudan and Sudan: Potential TransboundaryWater Issues Caused by the Forming of the World’s Youngest Country Johnny Sullivan and Dave Christiansen
Overview • July 9, 2011: South Sudan secedes from Sudan • Culmination of decades of fighting • Can new nation succeed? • What water issues does it face?
Geographical Overview • Ethiopia • Eritrea • Egypt • Chad • Central African Republic • Congo • Libya • DR Congo • Uganda • Kenya
Conflict First Sudanese Civil War (1955-1972) • Civil war between Northern and Southern regions of Sudan • Sudan granted independence • Christian/Traditional African southerners feared religious oppression from the Muslim north • 1972: Addis Ababa Agreement ended fighting, created Southern Sudan Autonomous Region
Conflict Second Sudanese Civil War (1955-1972) • Civil war between the Government of Sudan and rebel groups in south • Government abolished the Addis Ababa Agreement, attempting to declare all of Sudan an Islamic state • Fighting ended in 2005 with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement • Document designed to end Second Sudanese Civil War • 6 years of autonomy for South Sudan • Referendum in 2011 • 98% of South Sudanese approved independence • Officially seceded on July 9, 2011
2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement • Exact location of border never decided • Frequent land allocation disputes • 80% of region’s oil reserves located in South Sudan, but established administration in North Sudan • Talks to share oil 50/50, but never codified • Either way, Sudan loses at least 1/3 of its oil revenue • South Sudan considering circumventing Sudan’s oil infrastructure, working with Kenya
Current State of Both Countries • Water Resources • In terms of climate, South Sudan is in much better shape than Sudan • Main Sources of Water • Sudan: Nile River • South Sudan: Rainwater harvesting
Current State of Both Countries • Water Resources • In terms of infrastructure, Sudan is much more developed than South Sudan • Since the CPA in 2005, South Sudan has been working to build infrastructure • The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation • Not-for-profit Organizations • Water for South Sudan
Current State of Both Countries • Economy • The global financial crisis greatly affected the progress of South Sudan, bringing a halt to many infrastructure improvement programs • Conflict • Continued conflict in the Darfur region and elsewhere in Sudan have created a great deal of uncertainty in the future of both countries
Potential Future Issues • Water Resources • Sudan relies heavily on the White Nile River for water, which flows through South Sudan • South Sudan could exert influence over Sudan if dams were to be constructed • Currently, South Sudan is far too poor to accomplish this • However, if they are able to establish themselves, this could create potential for transboundary water issues
Potential Future Issues • Water Resources • If South Sudan decides to join the Nile Basin Initiative, more countries could be impacted than just Sudan • If South Sudan sides with Sudan and Egypt, the status quo, which involves Egypt receiving a large percentage of the Nile’s water, will be continued • If South Sudan sides with other upstream countries like Ethiopia, may tip the scales towards a more even distribution of the water.
Discussion Questions • Do you think it likely that South Sudan will remain a sovereign nation, or will it dissolve due to a lack of resource infrastructure? How does the likelihood of another war affect this? • If South Sudan were able to exert influence over Sudan by, for instance, constructing dams along the White Nile or circumventing Sudan’s oil distribution infrastructure, how do you think this would affect the region? • Sudan is much more established in terms of infrastructure compared to South Sudan. Considering question 2, do you think Sudan would ever consider helping South Sudan develop their infrastructure with the hopes of deterring South Sudan from constructing dams, etc.? • What role, if any, should the rest of the world play in this dispute?