Welcome back. Let us now see the arguements for separation. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005 give the South the right to secede in a referundum after six years interime period. Did they have a case?
What had made the peace talks between the SPLA and government take such a long time to conclude was the issue of trust. South Sudanese have lost complete trust on the successive governments in Khartoum. Abel Alier, the former Vice President of the Sudan (from South Sudan) under Nimeri puts it bluntly in his book that 'Too Many Agreements Dishonoured'. That is why the option for separation was vital for the movement to sign an agreement.
There are many other reasons to opt for a separate country. South Sudan has not gained anything in the fifty years of independence, thanks to the leadership in Khartoum who show to that. There are no functional infrastructure, no proper schools or health service and poverty is wides spread. Maybe standing alone thy can do something on their own instead of remaining marginalized.
After abrogating the Addis Abab Agreemnt and declaring Sharia in the country in 1983, Numeri had effectively excluded the South Sudan, which is predominantly Christian from the system. How can South Sudanese in their own country become become second class citizens? And no Christian can ever dream of becoming the president (for example) in an Islamic country. The presidency is not that of a selected few. Everyone should have the right (even if on paper) to be president, like any other person in Nimule, Berber, Foro Buranga, Dinder or Jazeera Aba!
South Sudan has the most untapped resource, in both human and natural. The vast oil reserves in the South could give its economy might that can rival South Africa in growth. There are also other minerals like gold and diamonds. The vast agricultural lands could serve as the breadbasket of Africa. The opportunities are endless.
And capacity? South Sudanese diaspora are the learned and skilled if they could all return to build. They have not been sleeping out there, coz there are professionals of all types. They can do the job. In a multi-tribal society, tensions are expected. The NIF are only fueling them by buying unsuspecting poor tribal chiefs and militia leaders to do their dirty job for them.
The temporary marriage in the form of Government of National Unity (GONU) has no unity to show for it. They are trying to sell the idea of 'making unity attractive' by pleasing the South Sudanese so that they will not vote for independence come 2011. The Arab countries are pouring in money: Egypt woeing with scholarships, Kuwait wants to build five star hotels, etc. The question has always been: what could they do in six years, that they couldn't do in 50? Where were they?
And don't you tell South Sudanese about African Unity! They know that Eritrea went it separate ways from Ethiopia and the United Nations blessed the separation of East Timor! You cannot definitely deny all these.
So should the South separate? I don't think I have been exhaustive of the arguements, but I believe the answer will be known after the ballot in 2011. However, what happens between now and that day is everyone's guess: the unionists will use every sinew to see that the country remains united, by hook or crook. And the separatists have their owns ways too.