Published in the October/November 2012 issue of the RUSI Journal this article argues that one year after achieving its independence, continuing tension with the North is not the only challenge facing South Sudan. From the uncertain fate of the disputed territory of Abyei and cross-border inter-communal conflicts, to a lack of economic infrastructure and food insecurity, combined with a persistent failure to build successful institutions, South Sudan’s beginning as an independent state is rife with dangers.

The article outlines the historical background and the security, political, ethnic and socioeconomic questions the South Sudanese leadership still needs to resolve.​