Since independence, relations with Sudan have been changing. Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir first announced, in January 2011, that dual citizenship in the North and the South would be allowed, but upon the independence of South Sudan he retracted the offer. He has also suggested an EU-style confederation. Essam Sharaf, Prime Minister of Egypt after the 2011 Egyptian revolution, made his first foreign visit to Khartoum and Juba in the lead-up to South Sudan’s secession.
Israel quickly recognized South Sudan as an independent country, and is host to thousands of refugees from South Sudan, who now face deportation to their native country. According to American sources the President Obama officially recognised the new state after Sudan (now North Sudan). Egypt, Sudan, Germany and Kenya were among the first to recognise the country’s independence on 8 July 2011. Several states that participated in the international negotiations concluded with a self-determination referendum were also quick to acknowledge the overwhelming result. The Rationalist process included Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Eritrea, United Kingdom and Norway.
South Sudan is a member state of the United Nations, the African Union, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. South Sudan plans to join the Commonwealth of Nations, the East African Community, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.
Full membership in the Arab League has been assured, should the country’s government choose to seek it, though it could also opt for observer status. It was admitted to UNESCO on 3 November 2011. On 25 November 2011, it officially joined the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a regional grouping of East African states.
The United States supported the 2011 referendum on South Sudan’s independence. The New York Times reported that “South Sudan is in many ways an American creation, carved out of war-torn Sudan in a referendum largely orchestrated by the United States, its fragile institutions nurtured with billions of dollars in American aid.” The U.S. government’s long-standing sanctions against the Sudan were officially removed from applicability to newly independent South Sudan in December 2011, and senior RSS officials participated in a high-level international engagement conference in Washington, D.C., to help connect foreign investors with the RSS and South Sudanese private sector representatives.
Given the interdependence between some sectors of the economy of the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan, certain activities still require OFAC authorization. Absent a license, current Sudanese sanction regulations will continue to prohibit U.S. persons from dealing in property and interests that benefit Sudan or the Government of Sudan. A 2011 Congressional Research Service report, “The Republic of South Sudan: Opportunities and Challenges for Africa’s Newest Country”, identifies outstanding political and humanitarian issues as the country forges its future.