The historic referendum and eventual secession of Republic of South Sudan may be cause for optimism, but peace in the fragile state remains elusive. Unresolved issues between North and South Sudan are cause for worry, especially in Abyei—an area strategically vital to the oil resources on which both sides depend.
But stability in Abyei isn't the only problem for the newly independent South Sudan. The country is rife with tribal conflicts. Cattle raids between rival clans are common, and many tribes have refused to surrender their weapons to South Sudanese authorities. After decades of war, the country lacks the infrastructure needed for economic growth and societal development. Only four percent of the arable land in South Sudan is used for farming, raising concerns about food security.