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This research, “An Assessment of the Right to Self-Determination as a Strategy for Resolving the National Question in South Sudan” was undertaken with the view to finding why and how the people of Southern Sudan came to identify themselves as a nation, irrespective of their religious and ethnic differences. The study adopted a thematic approach to the study by basing the analysis on literary texts. The ideological theory of nationalism was adopted in order to provide a systematic explanation for nationalism in Africa. The theory argues that nationalism in Africa is an ideological construction of disgruntled elites who mobilize the masses to their cause. After winning the sympathy of the masses, the elites and intelligentsia will start by negotiating with the dominant political group. It was found that the right to self-determination provided the platform for the attainment of statehood by the South Sudan but has not provided a permanent solution to the crisis of nationhood in South Sudan. Therefore, it was recommended that African states and South Sudan in particular, should embrace democratic principles in governance. The states should incorporate all the various segments and strata of the populace into governance. The rule of law and justice should be made to be the guiding star of governance. Finally it was recommended that a level playing ground should be provided for all the people in various spheres of human endeavours.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
A multiplicity of armed non-state groups is heavily present in Africa. These armed non-state groups range from armed bands, vigilantes, cultists groups, private security outfits, criminal bonds, community, ethnic, religious or regional armies, to militias and rebel groups. These groups have played critical role in violent conflicts that severely undermined human security and the state capacity to guarantee it. The activities of these armed non-state groups have been felt in the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Somalia, and Sudan among others. (Augustine and Wayfula, 2010).The activities of these groups have adversely affected stability development and security of Africa. Although these groups existed in Africa in the pre-colonial, colonial and the immediate period that followed independence, there has been a resurgence since the 1990s, with groups being formed for dissent, resistance, civil defence and struggle for self-determination, political reforms and resources control in Sudan, DRC and Somalia with implication for human insecurity, massive internal displacement, disruption of livelihoods, violations of human rights, heightened criminality, loss of lives and humanitarian crisis (Ibid, 2010).
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