Soon, on July 9th, a new nation will join the ranks of other internationally recognized states- South Sudan.
It has been a long time coming, but it seems to be on track that South Sudan will split off from Sudan and become an independent state. This comes after a referendum that voted in favor of secession earlier this year. Some discussions on that as well as on Sudanese history, economic interests, and politics can be found in this thread.
There has been instability over border regions as Sudan is not feeling too good about losing a region where much of its oil and natural gas revenue comes from- a sizable cut of their budget. Understandably this has brought ugly stuff to the surface and violence has broken out in contested border regions- mostly along the South Kordofan region that contained some populations that wanted to join South Sudan but instead found themselves on what would soon be the border with that new nation.
Sudan can't do much though. South Sudan has the recognition of the UN- Sudan itself ended up being the first nation to recognize South Sudan.
The UN security council voted to send some forces to supplement the military and security of South Sudan's forces, as it will be difficult for the nation to start off. It has little to no infrastructure- reportedly under 80 km of total paved roads in the new nation. To boot, the region didn't have much public services to begin with and will start off with no means of education or public health for the people. There has been attempts to mobilize capital to address this, though it'll be a while for it to be completed.
Doctors with out Borders reports that South Sudan has grave health needs, and an ongoing "humanitarian crisis" resulting from the lack of proper nutrition and care.
The most pressing issue are the groups in power right now that will shape the early stages of the country. They are a patchwork of groups that were united on resistance against Khartoum- however it still remains to be seen if this unity can be retained once Khartoum is no longer a pressing issue. With political power still based on the power of militias, there is also a concern for corruption
Then there is the natural resources. Foreign nations are lining up for contracts to work on them- and the government of South Sudan will naturally award those accordingly. Whether it'll be a "fair" agreement or exploitation, we'll see. However it won't be able to send its resources out through Kenya to its ports- it will have to rely on Sudan's existing pipelines until it can build its own through Kenya.
National borders in Africa are silly, this makes it a little bit less so. Seems like the first thing to do is to get that alternative pipeline built so they're not still beholden to the North. Hopefully they won't have similar problems with people trying to tap into it like Nigeria has. They still have an upward battle to developing, but good luck to them.
I'd say this is good news. People actually get to decide for themselves which nation they want to belong to, as it should be. And fracturing large, arbitrarily created African states into smaller pieces might be a good thing in the long run. At some point they'll have to cooperate for mutual prosperity which will increase stability.
Right now this is a dangerous situation though. I don't really see any western nations getting involved in a conflict in Africa (although you have to give France credit for doing what they did in Ivory Coast).
Running right out of the gate: media intimidation. This is expected though, until Juba can actually make a binding national law with media rights. If it chooses too though.
Israel has been a strong advocate of South Sudan, hosting many of its refugees in its countries. Here is an editorial in Haaretz discussing Israel's position towards the country and what lessons it should take with that in regards to Palestinian independence.