The city of Juba is preparing for a rare celebration.
After midnight on Saturday July 9, the state of South Sudan will gain full independence.
The celebration will call in 30 different African leaders, as well as representatives from U.N. nations all over.
French foreign minister Alain Juppe has expressed his intention to support the new nation, and former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell will make the trip as well.
After 21 years of civil war and years of working toward independence, South Sudan is finally capable of becoming an independent nation, agreed upon in a January vote, 98% supporting secession from the north.
The comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) that marked the end of the civil war in 2005 set in motion the eventual independence of the state, signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.
Salva Kiir is in place to be the first president of the Republic of South Sudan.
And yet there are still significant issues to work out with the north.
Definite borders are among those issues, but even more pressing is the matter of oil.
South Sudan houses a large oil reserve, one of the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa. Large amounts of national revenue are drawn from this reserve.
Since the end of the civil war, the north and south have split the revenue evenly.
China National Petroleum Corp, Petroliam Nasional Berhad of Malaysia, and Oil & Natural Gas Corp (NSE: ONGC) of India are the major drilling companies invested in the Sudan oil reserves, Bloomberg reports.
These companies pump a daily average of 490,000 barrels from the reserve.
But now that the south is becoming a sovereign state, the divide is not quite so simple. After all, the reserve is located within their nation.
Rebel militias within South Sudan and along the borders have been stirring up trouble for the almost-independent nation, especially in the location of the oil fields.
All of this could very easily lead to increased violence once again, and it has already been the cause of much violence since the end of the civil war.
However the United Nations Security Council is voting Friday on a peacekeeping council for South Sudan.
This could work toward relieving tensions and allowing South Sudan a chance at success in their independence, a chance that has thus far been heavily threatened.
Among the officials attending the ceremony on Saturday is Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir.
Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur.
But for now the day is about independence and celebration, no matter the strife of the past and the possible troubles of the future.
That’s all for now,