By Kerryn Williams
December 16, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Africa’s newest communist party has been born with the formation of the South Sudan Communist Party. On June 28, the SSCP was formally launched at a press conference in Khartoum. On July 9, the Republic of South Sudan officially came into being after seceding from Sudan.
The new party was established by the former section of the Sudanese Communist Party in the south, and also involves returning southern SCP members who fled to the north of Sudan during the civil war.
The party includes former SCP members who joined and were active at all levels in the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), now the ruling party of South Sudan.
Preparation for the new party began after the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed, which ended the three-decade-long north-south civil war and paved the way for the January 2011 referendum on independence.
Long road to independence
The new South Sudan state faces enormous challenges after a long and difficult road to winning independence.
While the most recent phase of the war in the south, from 1983-2005, caused the death of some 2 million people, the conflict and the suffering of the people of South Sudan long predates this.