Skip to main content

South Sudan's 1st birthday clouded by tensions

By the CNN Wire Staff
July 9, 2012 -- Updated 1001 GMT (1801 HKT)
A South Sudanese policeman cheers on July 8 as people celebrate the eve of the country's independence day in Juba.
A South Sudanese policeman cheers on July 8 as people celebrate the eve of the country's independence day in Juba.
  • South Sudan became independent last year following a two-decade civil war
  • Border clashes with its northern neighbor have put the region on edge
  • The fighting has created a huge humanitarian crisis
  • The South Sudanese government is also suffering from a lack of oil revenue

(CNN) -- South Sudan, the world's newest nation, turned one year old on Monday, but its anniversary comes amid high tensions with its northern neighbor and economic concerns.

With its capital in Juba, South Sudan became independent last year following decades of civil war. Its arrival in the international community was celebrated at the time, but conflict with the Sudanese regime soon resumed.

Border clashes have brought the countries to the brink of war and left South Sudan coping with a massive humanitarian crisis as people flee the fighting.

The South Sudan state of Upper Nile has been flooded with refugees crossing the border from Sudan. In total, aid agencies estimate that at least 150,000 refugees from Sudan are currently in South Sudan.

'The Elders' seek action in Sudan
Struggling for survival in South Sudan
Air raids resume on South Sudan

The humanitarian problems have coincided with economic woes.

The South Sudanese government lost 98 percent of its revenue when it halted oil production amid a dispute over transportation and processing fees with Sudan.

South Sudan obtained around 70% of the formerly united country's oil reserves when it became independent last year. But the countries have been unable to agree on how much the landlocked South should pay to use infrastructure that remains in Sudan.

South Sudan shut down production in late January after accusing Sudan of stealing $815 million worth of its oil. Sudan said it confiscated the crude to make up for unpaid fees.

The shutdown has sent the economies of both countries reeling, but South Sudan has been hit particularly hard by the loss of income from virtually its only export.

The young nation has also wrestled with corruption in its first year.

In May, South Sudan's president wrote to more than 75 government officials and eight foreign governments in an attempt to recover $4 billion lost through corruption.

Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.