With the official split of the country of Sudan on Saturday, July 9th, a lot is at stake for the newly formed South Sudan as it, among other things, tries to rebuild the research infrastructure ravaged by a two-decade-long civil war. Prior to the split, the majority of Sudan’s peer-reviewed papers came out of the University of Khartoum, which is in the current capital of the northern republic. Moreover, the bloody conflict drove several universities that were originally based in the south to the north in an attempt to flee the violence.
While South Sudan is currently working to re-open some of these institutions, the government has been unable to raise the money needed to build crucial infrastructure such as hostels, laboratories and lecture halls for the thousands of students expected to return south, Nature reports. But there is hope that with the secession of the southern part of the country, it will not be subjected to the economic sanctions imposed by the US on Sudan for acts of terrorism and genocide—making it easier for researchers to receive external funding.