South Sudan, Scotland and the Basque Region as an example of Separatist movements

South Sudan:


Reasons for separatism:

-Southern third of Sudan predominantly Christian while the northern two thirds are muslim.

-South has all the oil fields that keep the economy afloat.


How do activists express their opinion:

-Guerrilla Warfare: Through the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

-98.8% voted to leave Sudan in a referendum

-2.5 Million died in last war.

What are the consequences of the separatist movement:

-Formation of South Sudan, a sovereign nation in 2011

-Years of war, as the Sudan government didn’t want to lose the territory. Villages bombs, arab militias were unleashed on areas and some South Sudanese children were enslaved.

-Darfur genocide in 2003 where government responded to guerrilla warfare by carrying out ethnic cleansing on the non arab population. This led to 100,000s of deaths and the former leader of Sudan being charged with genocide related war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

-Although all the oil fields are in the South, the refineries and oil markets are in the North. This means for the country to valorize it must improve its relationship with its former oppressor.


ETA – Seven regions of Spain and France (the Basque region)


Reasons for Separatism:

-Under Francisco Franco the Basque language was banned, distinctive culture suppressed, and intellectuals were imprisoned and tortured for their political and cultural beliefs.  However in 1975 his death led to the introductions of democracy.

-ETA have continued to press for complete independence even since being given high levels of autonomy and self rule.

How do activists express their opinions:

-Violent terrorist and guerrilla warfare, which has resulted in over 820 deaths. These have been predominantly police and army personnel. However have also included local and national politicians.

-Violence has decreased, yearly in 1970s there were on average 100 deaths, in 2003 this was only 2.   

-Kidnap of councillor and held ransom the Spanish government requesting release of the over 300 prisoners held for Basque related offences in Spanish courts. This was not met and the councillor was shot to death.

What are the consequences of the separatist movement:

-Basque area of Spain has more autonomy than any other area of the country. Including it’s own parliament, ability to set own tax rates and control education.

-Spanish government has banned the political movement for independence for the Basque country.

-6 Million people took to the streets to request an end to the Basque violence after the shooting of the councillor.


Scotland – SNP campaign for independence from the UK


Reasons for separatism:

-Scottish economy held back by policies suited to the South East of England and City of London.

-Dislike of Trident nuclear weapons systems being located in Scotland.

-Scotland would receive up to 80% of UK oil and tax revenues.

-Decisions made by local people, prevent a government that only has 1 MP in Scotland making decisions.

-Scotland and England would be able to have a similar trading agreement as similar nations presuming they were both a part of the EU.

How do activists express their opinion:

-Scottish National Party – Nationalist Political Movement which currently runs the Scottish Assembly

What are the consequences of the separatist movement:

-”Devo Max” was announced leading up to the 2014 referendum with Scotland being given powers over income tax and other taxation for the first time.

-Other areas of the UK began campaigning for similar levels of devolution. For example the English democrats have began arguing for an english parliament (separatist argument) and the conservative government have implemented “English Votes for English Laws”.