Facts

Population: 12,900,079 Visit Worldometers
Area:619 745 km²
Capital City: Juba

South Sudan officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, Is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa. The country gained its independence from Sudan in 2011, making it the newest country with widespread recognition. Its capital and largest city is Juba. South Sudan is bordered by Sudan to the north, Ethiopia to the east, Kenya to the southeast, Uganda to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, and the Central African Republic to the west. It includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd, formed by the White Nile and known locally as the Bahr al Jabal, meaning Mountain Sea. Nilotic peoples form the majority of its population. The territories of modern South Sudan and the Republic of the Sudan were occupied by Egypt under the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, and later governed as an Anglo-Egyptian condominium until Sudanese independence was achieved in 1956. Following the First Sudanese Civil War, the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was formed in 1972 and lasted until 1983. A second Sudanese civil war soon broke out, and ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. Later that year, southern autonomy was restored when an Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan was formed. South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote. South Sudan has a population of 12 million, with Christianity the majority religion. It is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the East African Community, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. In July 2012, South Sudan signed the Geneva Conventions. South Sudan has suffered ethnic violence and has been in a civil war since 2013. As of 2017, despite not being ranked bottom in the latest World Happiness Report, it had the highest score on the Fragile States Index(formerly, the Failed States Index), surpassing Somalia.


Currency

Climate

South Sudan has a climate similar to an Equatorial or tropical climate, characterized by a rainy season of high humidity and large amounts of rainfall followed by a drier season. The temperature on average is always high with July being the coolest month with an average temperatures falling between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and March being the warmest month with average temperatures ranging from 23 to 37 °C (73 to 98 °F).The most rainfall is seen between May and October, but the rainy season can commence in April and extend until November. On average May is the wettest month. The season is “influenced by the annual shift of the Inter-Tropical Zone”15 and the shift to southerly and southwesterly winds leading to slightly lower temperatures, higher humidity, and more cloud coverage.

 

Culture

Due to the many years of the civil war, South Sudan’s culture is heavily influenced by its neighbours. Many South Sudanese fled to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda where they interacted with the nationals and learned their languages and culture. For most of those who remained in the country, or went north to Sudan and Egypt, they largely assimilated Arab culture. Most South Sudanese value knowing one’s tribal origin, its traditional culture and dialect even while in exile and diaspora. Although the common languages spoken are Juba Arabic and English, Swahili is being introduced to the population to improve the country’s relations with its East African neighbours.


Language

The official language of South Sudan is English.There are over 60 indigenous languages, most classified under the Nilo-Saharan Language family; collectively, they represent two of the first-order divisions of Nile Sudanic and Central Sudanic.


Economy

The economy of South Sudan is one of the world’s most underdeveloped with South Sudan having little existing infrastructure and the highest maternal mortality and female illiteracy rates in the world as of 2011.[168] South Sudan exports timber to the international market. The region also contains many natural resources such as petroleum, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, diamonds, hardwoods, limestone and hydropower. The country’s economy, as in many other developing countries, is heavily dependent on agriculture.Other than natural resources-based companies, other such organisations include Southern Sudan Beverages Limited, a subsidiary of SABMiller.


Education

Unlike the previous educational system of the regional Southern Sudan—which was modeled after the system used in the Republic of Sudan since 1990—the current educational system of the Republic of South Sudan follows the 8 + 4 + 4 system (similar to Kenya). Primary education consists of eight years, followed by four years of secondary education, and then four years of university instruction.The primary language at all levels is English, as compared to the Republic of Sudan, where the language of instruction is Arabic. In 2007 South Sudan adopted English as the official language of communication. There is a severe shortage of English teachers and English-speaking teachers in the scientific and technical fields.

 

Government

The now-defunct Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly ratified a transitional constitution shortly before independence on 9 July 2011.The constitution was signed by the President of South Sudan on Independence Day and thereby came into force. It is now the supreme law of the land, superseding the Interim Constitution of 2005. The constitution establishes a mixed presidential system of government headed by a president who is head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It also establishes the National Legislature comprising two houses: a directly elected assembly, the National Legislative Assembly, and a second chamber of representatives of the states, the Council of States. John Garang, the founder of the SPLA/M, was the first president of the autonomous government until his death on 30 July 2005. Salva Kiir Mayardit, his deputy, was sworn in as First Vice President of Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan on 11 August 2005. Riek Machar replaced him as Vice-President of the Government. Legislative power is vested in the government and the bicameral National Legislature. The constitution also provides for an independent judiciary, the highest organ being the Supreme Court.

 

Military

A Defense paper was initiated in 2007 by then Minister for SPLA Affairs Dominic Dim Deng, and a draft was produced in 2008. It declared that Southern Sudan would eventually maintain land, air, and riverine forces. As of 2015, South Sudan has the third highest military spending as a percentage of GDP in the world, behind only Oman and Saudi Arabia.

 

Human Rights

Campaigns of atrocities against civilians have been attributed to the SPLA. In the SPLA/M’s attempt to disarm rebellions among the Shilluk and Murle, they burned scores of villages, raped hundreds of women and girls and killed an untold number of civilians. Civilians alleging torture claim fingernails being torn out, burning plastic bags dripped on children to make their parents hand over weapons, and villagers burned alive in their huts if it was suspected that rebels had spent the night there. In May 2011, the SPLA allegedly set fire to over 7,000 homes in Unity State.The UN reports many of these violations and the frustrated director of one Juba-based international aid agency calls them “human rights abuses off the Richter scale”. In 2010, the CIA issued a warning that “over the next five years,…a new mass killing or genocide is most likely to occur in southern Sudan.” The Nuer White Army has stated it wished to “wipe out the entire Murle tribe on the face of the earth as the only solution to guarantee long-term security of Nuer’s cattle”and activists, including Minority Rights Group International, warned of genocide in Jonglei.At the beginning of 2017, genocide was imminent again. Peter Abdul Rahaman Sule, the leader of the key opposition group United Democratic Forum, has been under arrest since 3 November 2011 over allegations linking him to the formation of a new rebel group fighting against the government.The child marriage rate in South Sudan is 52%. Homosexual acts are illegal. Recruitment of child soldiers has also been cited as a serious problem in the country. In April 2014, Navi Pillay, then the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that more than 9,000 child soldiers had been fighting in South Sudan’s civil war. The United Nations rights office has described the situation in the country as “one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world.” It accused the army and allied militias of allowing fighters to rape women as form of payment for fighting, as well as raid cattle in an agreement of “do what you can, take what you can.”Amnesty International claimed the army suffocated to death in a shipping container more than 60 people accused of supporting the opposition. On 22 December 2017, at the conclusion of a 12-day visit to the region, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said, “Four years following the start of the current conflict in South Sudan, gross human rights violations continue to be committed in a widespread way by all parties to the conflict, in which civilians are bearing the brunt. The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan was established by the Human Rights Council in March 2016.

 

Refugees

Jamam refugee camp

As of February 2014, South Sudan was host to over 230,000 refugees, with the vast majority, over 209,000, having arrived recently from Sudan, because of the War in Darfur. Other African countries that contribute the most refugees to South Sudan are the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As a result of the war that erupted in December 2013, more than 2.3 million people – one in every five people in South Sudan – have been forced to flee their homes, including 1.66 million internally displaced people (with 53.4 per cent estimated to be children) and nearly 644,900 refugees in neighbouring countries. Some 185,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) have sought refuge in UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites, while around 90 per cent of IDPs are on the run or sheltering outside PoC sites. Consequently, UNHCR is stepping up its response through an inter-agency collaborative approach under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, and working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In early February 2013, UNHCR started distributing relief items outside the UN base in Malakal, South Sudan, which was expected to reach 10,000 people.

 

Oil

The oilfields in the south have been significant to the economy since the latter part of the 20th century. South Sudan has the third-largest oil reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, after South Sudan became an independent nation in July 2011, southern and northern negotiators were not immediately able to reach an agreement on how to split the revenue from these southern oilfields. It is estimated that South Sudan has around 4 times the oil deposits of Sudan. The oil revenues, according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), were split equally for the duration of the agreement period. Since South Sudan relies on pipelines, refineries, and Port Sudan’s facilities in Red Sea state in Sudan, the agreement stated that the government of Sudan in Khartoum would receive a 50% share of all oil revenues.This arrangement was maintained during the second period of autonomy from 2005 to 2011. In the run up to independence, northern negotiators reportedly pressed for a deal maintaining the 50–50 split of oil revenues, while the South Sudanese were holding out for more favorable terms.Oil revenues constitute more than 98% of the government of South Sudan’s budget according to the southern government’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and this has amounted to more than $8 billion in revenue since the signing of the peace agreement. After independence, South Sudan objected to Sudan charging US$34 per barrel to transport oil through the pipeline to the oil terminal at Port Sudan. With production of around 30,000 barrels per day, this was costing over a million dollars per day. In January 2012, South Sudan suspended oil production, causing a dramatic reduction in revenue and food costs to rise by 120%. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is a major investor in South Sudan’s oil sector. South Sudan’s economy is under pressure to diversify away from oil as oil reserves will likely halve by 2020 if no new finds are made, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Transport

South Sudan has 248 km (154 mi) of single-track 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge railway line from the Sudanese border to Wau terminus. There are proposed extensions from Wau to Juba. There are also plans to link Juba with the Kenyan and Ugandan railway networks.

Air

The busiest and most developed airport in South Sudan is Juba Airport, which has regular international connections to Asmara, Entebbe, Nairobi, Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Khartoum. Juba Airport was also the home base of Feeder Airlines Company and Southern Star Airlines. Other international airports include Malakal, with international flights to Addis Ababa and Khartoum; Wau, with weekly service to Khartoum; and Rumbek, also with weekly flights to Khartoum. Southern Sudan Airlines also serves Nimule and Akobo, which have unpaved runways. Several smaller airports exist throughout South Sudan, the majority consisting of little more than dirt runways. On 4 April 2012, plans were unveiled to launch a South Sudanese national airline, primarily for domestic service at first but eventually expanding to international service.

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