SOUTH SUDAN

Date of establishment: July 9, 2011

Brief history:

  • Colonization: In the 19th century, the territory of South Sudan was colonized by Egypt and then by Britain.
  • Independence: In 1956, Sudan gained independence after centuries of colonial rule. South Sudan, which had a predominantly Christian and animist population, becomes part of the new state.
  • Civil War: Since independence, South Sudan has been denied autonomy and economic development. This led to a protracted civil war between southern rebels and the government in Khartoum that lasted for almost 40 years on and off.
  • Peace Agreement: In 2005, the Naivasha Peace Agreement was signed, ending the civil war, and guaranteeing South Sudan some autonomy and the possibility of holding a referendum on independence.
  • Referendum and independence: A referendum was held in 2011 where the South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly for independence from Sudan. On 9 July 2011, independence was declared.
  • Conflicts: Even after independence, the country has been plagued by ethnic conflicts and problems with the government. In 2013, armed conflict broke out between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

 

International abbreviation: SS

 

Currency: South Sudanese pound (SSP)

This currency was introduced after the declaration of independence of South Sudan in 2011. Before that, the Sudanese pound was used in the South Sudan region. The South Sudanese pound was introduced as a separate currency to meet the economic needs of the newly formed state.

 

Internet domain: .ss

 

Dialing code: +211

 

Time zone: +2 GMT

 

Geography:

South Sudan is one of the countries through which the Nile flows, here called the White Nile. The river plays a key role in agriculture and transportation and is vital to many of the country’s inhabitants.

The country has many lakes and swamps that are home to a rich ecosystem. The largest lake in the country is Lake Albert, on the border with Sudan and Uganda.

The southwestern part is covered with savannah and steppe. The country also has arid desert regions in the north. To the east are the Imatong Mountains, which are part of the East African mountain range.

 

Highest peak: Kinyeti 3 187 m (10 456 feet) above sea level.

Kinyeti Peak lies in the Imatong Mountains in eastern South Sudan. These are part of the East African mountain range.

Kinyeti Peak and the surrounding areas are known for their beautiful nature, lush forests, and rich ecosystem.

 

Climate:

Most of South Sudan has two main rainy seasons. The shorter one lasts from March to May, while the longer rainy season lasts from June to November. During these months, regular rainfall occurs, ensuring sufficient water supplies for agriculture.

The dry season comes during the winter months, from December to February. This is a period of minimal rainfall, and some areas can be plagued by prolonged drought.

Temperatures in South Sudan are on average high throughout the year, with average temperatures between around 30°C (86°F).

Flooding can occur during the rainy season, especially in low-lying areas and around the Nile.

 

Fauna and flora:

South Sudan is home to large populations of elephants that inhabit the savannah. A population of rare white rhinos also lives there but they are threatened by poaching.

Big cats such as lions and leopards inhabit the savannah and forests. The water bodies of South Sudan are home to various species of crocodile, including Nile crocodiles.

South Sudan is a paradise for ornithologists, with a rich population of birds.

The country has several species of baobabs, some of which have very tall and massive trunks. Different types of grasses, shrubs, and trees grow in the savannah, and are an important part of the African ecosystem. Swamps and wetlands are typical of some parts of South Sudan and are home to waterfowl and other animals.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops grown in South Sudan include maize, cassava, beans, peas, sweet potatoes, sorghum, sesame, and rice.

Agriculture is mainly small-scale, with many farmers growing crops for their own use and the local market. Livestock farming, including beef and goats, is also an important source of food and income.

The Nile and its tributaries play a key role in agriculture. Farmers often use river water to irrigate fields.

South Sudan is still afflicted by acute food crises, mainly due to conflict and drought. The World Food Program (WFP) and other organizations provide humanitarian assistance and food security to those in need.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

South Sudan has extensive oil reserves. Oil is produced mainly in Unity and Upper Nile states and accounts for a significant portion of export earnings, thus becoming a key source of finance for the government. In addition to oil, there are also reserves of natural gas. Natural gas was discovered in the Block 5A area of Upper Nile State.

The country also has certain reserves of minerals, gold, iron ore, copper, and others.

 

Industry:

The mining industry, mainly the extraction of oil and natural gas, plays a key role in the industrial sector. The food industry is another important sector. It includes food processing, and the production of beverages and other food products.

The woodworking industry is also significant, especially in the forested areas of the eastern part of the country. Wood for construction and furniture is processed there.

The construction industry has potential for growth, in connection with the reconstruction and development of infrastructure in the country. After years of conflict and underinvestment, construction is a key industry for the country’s recovery.

 

Services and other areas of the economy:

 

Natural and historical attractions: the Sudd wetlands, the White Nile, and Boma and Bandigalo national parks

Tourism in South Sudan has potential but is not yet developed to the level of many other African countries. It has a beautiful natural landscape that includes vast savannahs, swamps, mountains, and lakes. It has a rich history including ancient kingdoms, and cultural heritage.

 

 

Form of government: presidential republic

South Sudan has a presidential system where the head of state and government is the president. The president is elected for a five-year term. Executive power is vested in the president, who appoints the government, including the prime minister and ministers. The prime minister is usually the leader of the strongest political party in parliament.

It is divided into several state units. Each state has its own governor and legislature. The constitution was adopted in 2011 after independence.

 

Capital city: Juba

It is located in the center of South Sudan. After gaining independence in 2011, Juba was chosen as the new capital, replacing the previous capital Khartoum, which remained part of Sudan.

The city of Juba also plays an important role in the country’s economy. Shops, banks, markets, and industrial zones are located there.

 

Area: 644 329 km2 (248 777 square miles)

 

Population: 11 550 000 (2022)

South Sudan is home to many ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Bari and Azande. The Dinka are the most numerous ethnic group and make up a significant part of the population.

Many different languages are spoken, with English being the official language. Other languages used include Arabic, Dinka, and Nuer. The majority of the population professes Christianity, and mainly the Catholic and Protestant branches. However, there are also minorities practicing indigenous religions and Islam.

Education and health care are limited. The government and international organizations are working to improve access to these services and raise the level of education in the country.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

 

National parks: 6

 

  1. Bandingilo National Park
  2. Boma National Park
  3. Lantoto National Park
  4. Nimule National Park
  5. Shambe National Park
  6. Southern National Park