South Sudan: 5 key questions answered

The Republic of South Sudan, the world’s newest country, is one of the most underdeveloped nations on earth. But it may be able to overcome the obstacles it faces – if it finds peace with its northern neighbor.

2. Is the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan really over?

It is difficult to predict, but based on the policy of brinkmanship that the ruling parties of the North and South have honed over the past six years – collectively reaching the point of crisis in order to exact concessions from each other – political, if not military, confrontation between the two governments is likely to continue.

Weeks of heavy North-South fighting over the disputed border town of Abyei and in the contested region of South Kordofan killed scores and displaced more than 700,000 people in June, according to the United Nations.

Even if skirmishes end between the two armies along their disputed shared border, which is littered with oil and other resource deposits, proxy politics are likely to keep military tensions high. The southern government has repeatedly accused Khartoum of arming a number of rebel militias active in the oil-producing southern borderlands, allegations the North has repeatedly denied.

Meanwhile, Khartoum levels its own allegations against the South's Army for its rumored links to rebel groups fighting for increased autonomy in Darfur during a nearly decade-long conflict there that some observers have deemed to be a genocide by Khartoum against Darfuri citizens.

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