Solomon Dersso, senior researcher at the Addis Ababa office of the Institute for Security Studies, prepared a paper dated February 2012 titled International Law and the Self-determination of South Sudan. The paper identifies at least five forms that the exercise of self-determination may take under recognized international law.
The analysis concludes: "Self-determination is not an event, but rather a continuous process. Neither South Sudan's referendum nor its declaration of independence on 9 July 2011 can fully encompass the right of southern Sudanese to self-determination. Although these constitute important elements of the exercise of this right, the full realisation of self-determination requires the provision of the necessary legal, institutional and political guarantees that enable the southern Sudanese to select freely a government of their choice, and that such a government is in a position to protect their personal security, consolidate peace and stability, and duly account for its activities and decisions."