The Court first notes that during the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there were numerous instances of declarations of independence, often strenuously opposed by the State from which independence was being declared. Sometimes a declaration resulted in the creation of a new State, at others it did not. In no case, however, does the practice of States as a whole suggest that the act of promulgating the declaration was regarded as contrary to international law. On the contrary, State practice during this period points clearly to the conclusion that international law contained no prohibition of declarations of independence. During the second half of the twentieth century, the international law of self-determination developed in such a way as to create a right to independence for the peoples of non-self-governing territories and peoples subject to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation. A great many new States have come into existence as a result of the exercise of this right. There were, however, also instances of declarations of independence outside this context. The practice of States in these latter cases does not point to the emergence in international law of a new rule prohibiting the making of a declaration of independence in such cases.
The Court then recalls that the principle of territorial integrity is “an important part of the international legal order and is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, in particular in Article 2, paragraph 4, which provides that:‘All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.’”. . . .The Court considers that it is not necessary, in the present case, to resolve the question whether, outside the context of non-self-governing territories and peoples subject to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation, the international law of self-determination confers upon part of the population of an existing State a right to separate from that State, or whether international law provides for a right of “remedial secession” and, if so, in what circumstances.. . . . For the reasons already given, the Court considers that general international law contains no applicable prohibition of declarations of independence. Accordingly, it concludes that the declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law. (From International Court of Justice, Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo, Summary of the Advisory Opinion, Summary 2010/2, 22 July 2010, at 7-8.)
Some 99% of South Sudanese voted to secede from the north, according to the first complete results of the region's independence referendum.A total of 99.57 percent of those polled voted for independence, according to the referendum commission.
Early counting had put the outcome of the ballot beyond doubt, indicating Southern Sudan had secured a mandate to become the world's newest nation.
The poll was agreed as part of a 2005 peace deal to end two decades of war.
Final results from the 9-15 January vote, which Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has said he will accept, are expected early next month.
If the result is confirmed, the new country is set to formally declare its independence on 9 July.
. . . .
North and south Sudan have suffered decades of conflict driven by religious and ethnic divides.
Southern Sudan is one of the least developed areas in the world and many of its people have have long complained of mistreatment at the hands of the Khartoum government. (From South Sudan referendum: 99% vote for independence, BBC NewsOnline, Jan. 30, 2011).
But such a solution was not possible in Sudan, where there was no supra state substitute for the ethnically based political division contemplated. The Sudanese break up puts in stark relief the contradictions in the global normative structure that will tolerate the break up of states to avoid ethnic, religious linguistic and similar violence, but which also privileges within the edifice of international law the territorial integrity of states, even of states in which minorities are treated like foreigners within the body politic. Perhaps the Turks expressed the tensions inherent in the South Sudan independence vote best when they explained:
“We are pursuing two principles in regards to our relations with Sudan. First, we want the continuity of Sudan’s territorial integrity and unity. Our desire is in this direction,” a Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Tuesday.The lack of alternative makes Sudan more dangerous for the territorial integrity of small states. Certainly, Turkey, with its Kurdish independence problem, like Spain, views secession with alarm, even one mediated by large pluralist states and the international. It also makes South Sudan more likely to require some connection with a more well organized state to survive.
“Secondly, we want the referendum result to serve peace and stability in the country regardless of the outcome,” the official said, while noting that it is too early to comment on the independence vote since the results have not been finalized.
Turkey would pursue good relations with Southern Sudan if it splits off from the north, another Turkish diplomat who wished to remain anonymous told the Daily News. Ankara says the oil extracted in the south and carried through the north via pipelines should not become a source of friction between the two sides, but rather a shared resource that links them. Seventy percent of Sudan’s oil is in the south. (From Turkey Backs Sudan Unity, Vows Support for Plebiscite, Turkish Weekly, Jan. 12, 2011)
"Juba is indeed already booming with new “friends.” Investors touch down daily at the international airport that is badly in need of a remodel. The new business they bring, however, seems unlikely to make a difference in the lives of the majority of the southern population – rural subsistence farmers who lack access to safe drinking water, primary education, and basic health care. In the capital, Chinese and Eritrean owned hotels keep springing up to serve the newly arrived consultants and diplomats who don’t yet have office space or long-term accommodation." Maggi Fick, South Sudan welcomes outside help as it begins building a nation, Christian science Monitor, Jan. 28, 2011.
But the independence of South Sudan is not the end of the story, Still within the warm embrace of what remains of Sudan is Darfur. "South Sudan shares a border with the remote north Sudanese territory of Darfur, the scene of a separate seven-year conflict between government forces and rebels. Ibrahim Gambari, the head of Darfur's joint U.N./African Union UNAMID peacekeeping force, told reporters there was concern about a "spill-over effect" from north-south tensions." Andrew Heavens, North-south tensions threaten Sudan's Darfur - U.N., The Star Online, Nov. 15, 2010.