By Lekisha Gunn, Staff Editor
Following its July 2011 independence from war-ravaged Sudan, the newly formed nation of South Sudan has shown interest in joining the Commonwealth, a group of 54 former British colonies designed to encourage development, peace and prosperity. With a heavy dependence on oil, South Sudan maintains 75% of former Sudan’s oil reserves, yet the country remains highly underdeveloped.
By expressing interest in the Commonwealth and vowing to change its language of instruction from Arabic to English, South Sudan continues to move away from Arab-influenced North Africa and build its own identity with the English-speaking east. Uganda and Kenya, both members of the East African Community, are South Sudan’s main trading partners and leaders have been discussing a oil pipeline that would travel from South Sudan to Kenya to avoid sending oil to Khartoum.