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Southern Sudan and Northern Sudan

Southern Sudan and Northern Sudan

Created by francisco on 24/01/2011
Updated on 15/06/2012
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Southern Sudan in GREEN, Norther Sudan in RED
'South Sudan' Could Be Latest Change to Map of Africa
With initial results showing that nearly 99 percent of southern Sudanese have voted to secede from their country's Arab north, officials readying for the birth of their new nation have a dilemma on their hands: What to call it?

A steering committee of southern officials -- many of them from former rebel groups vying for power in a new era of independence -- has been formed to juggle all the issues associated with forming a new country, including choosing a name, flag and national anthem. One of those officials, information minister Benjamin Marial, told The New York Times that more than a dozen suggestions for a new name have been put forth.

But the name Republic of South Sudan, or South Sudan for short, seems to have won out.

"It is the easiest one for the time being; there are already many things with that name," Marial said, referring to municipal departments and agencies in the south, an ethnically and religiously diverse area that's ruled itself with some regional autonomy since the end of Sudan's civil war in 2005. "It makes it easy to transform the government."

"We've had South Korea, North Korea, South Vietnam, North Vietnam," Marial was quoted as saying. "South Sudan and North Sudan."

Sudanese officials announced their choice on Sunday, though the new country's name won't be official until at least after Feb. 14, when final results are released from this month's national referendum. The name also still has to muster approval from the south's parliament, Bloomberg News reported.


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