Since the dawn of independence in the 1960s, a number of African countries have experienced rebellions involving ethno-linguistic groups or marginalized communities demanding territorial separation from existing states in order to establish new independent nations. Despite the high incidence of secessionist conflicts in the continent only two cases have succeeded resulting in the establishment of two new states in post-colonial Africa: Eritrea in 1993 and South Sudan in 2011. The secession of South Sudan took place in a continental and global context hostile to the emergence of new states. This event started an intense debate in the literature regarding the factors that better explain the partition of the Sudan. One group of scholars has suggested that domestic factors were crucial in the process, while another group advocates that external factors played the decisive role in determining the break-up of the Sudan. This study adds a new perspective to the debate contending that a tight combination of both domestic and external factors was decisive in determining the successful outcome of Southern Sudan’s secessionist struggle. The study draws upon qualitative secondary data sources and represents a unique contribution to the debate on the determinants of successful secessions in post-colonial Africa.
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Author Name: Albano Agostinho Troco
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Keywords: Secession, Secessionist Movements, Self-determination, South Sudan, Post-colonial Africa