The Foreign Ministry has announced that Estonia has recognized the Republic of South Sudan, which split from Sudan and became an independent state on July 9.
In 2005, a civil war ended with the establishment of an autonomous southern government and a peace treaty that mandated a referendum last January, in which 99 percent voted for a new and independent nation. "The development will help calm the situation in the entire region," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet.
The task now is to ensure that the region does not relapse into violence, and to prevent the new country from failing. The former Sudan had been in constant turmoil, in which millions were killed, since the UK forced north and south to unite more than 50 years ago.
Sudan was the first to recognize the new country, even as it lost, as a result of the redrawing of the map, one-third of its territory and three-fourths of its oil reserves. But the infrastructure for transporting the oil abroad is on Sudan's side of the border, and 7,000 United Nations peacekeepers are on the scene to ensure that relations remain calm.