Southern Sudan: Wikis


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Southern Sudan
Flag Coat of arms
AnthemSouthern Sudan anthem
(and largest city)
Official language(s) English, Arabic (Juba Arabic)[1]
Recognised regional languages over 400 dialects. Bari, Kakwa, Dinka, Nuer[1], Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages.
Ethnic groups  Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Lotuko,Kuku, Zande, Mundari, Kakwa, Pojulu, Moru, Acholi, Madi, Lulubo, Lokoya, Toposa, Lango, Didinga, Murle, Anuak, Makaraka, Mundu, Jur, Kaliko, and others.
Demonym South Sudanese
 -  President Salva Kiir Mayardit
 -  Vice-President Riek Machar
 -  Speaker of Legislative Assembly James Wani Igga
 -  Comprehensive Peace Agreement January 9, 2005 
 -  Total 640,000 km2 
247,105 sq mi 
 -   estimate 7,500,000 - 9,700,000 (2006, UNFPA)[2]
11,000,000 - 13,000,000 (Southern Sudan claim, 2009)[3] 
 -  2008 census 8,260,490 (disputed)[4] 
Currency Sudanese pound
Time zone (UTC+3)
1 Estimated at 8.5 million in 2005.[citation needed] natural rescources petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, hydropower. (CIA factbook)

Southern Sudan (officially known as the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan), is located in Africa with Juba as its capital city. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the east, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, and the Central African Republic to the west. To the north lies the predominantly Afro-Arab and Muslim region directly under the control of the central government, with its capital at Khartoum. Southern Sudan includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd formed by the White Nile, locally called the Bahr el Jebel. The region's autonomous status is a condition of a peace agreement between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army and the Government of Sudan represented by the National Congress Party ending the Second Sudanese Civil War. The conflict was Africa's longest running civil war [5][6].



There is little documentation of the history of the southern provinces until the beginning of Egyptian rule in the north in the early 1820s and the subsequent extension of slave raiding into the south. Information before that time is based largely on oral history. According to these traditions, the Nilotic peoples—the Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, and others—first entered southern Sudan sometime before the tenth century. During the period from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century, tribal migrations, largely from the area of Bahr al Ghazal, brought these peoples to their modern locations. The non-Nilotic Azande people, who entered southern Sudan in the sixteenth century, established the region's largest state. In the eighteenth century, the Avungara people entered and quickly imposed their authority over the Azande. Avungara power remained largely unchallenged until the arrival of the British at the end of the nineteenth century. Geographical barriers protected the southerners from Islam's advance, enabling them to retain their social and cultural heritage and their political and religious institutions.

Egypt, under the rule of Khedive Isma'il Pasha, first attempted to colonize the region in the 1870s, establishing the province of Equatoria in the southern portion. Egypt's first governor was Samuel Baker, commissioned in 1869, followed by Charles George Gordon in 1874 and by Emin Pasha in 1878. The Mahdist Revolt of the 1880s destabilized the nascent province, and Equatoria ceased to exist as an Egyptian outpost in 1889. Important settlements in Equatoria included Lado, Gondokoro, Dufile and Wadelai.

It is estimated that the Southern region has a population of more than 15 million, but given the lack of a census in several decades, this estimate may be severely compromised; it may rise to about 17 million. The economy is predominantly rural and subsistence farming[citation needed], but at the beginning of 2005, the economy began to transition from this rural dominance and urban areas within Southern Sudan have seen extensive development. This region has been negatively affected by the First of Anya-nya(1) and Anya(2) and Second Sudanese Civil War of SPLA/M for almost twenty one (21) years since the history of the beginning of SPLA/M in 1983 - resulting in serious neglect, lack of infrastructure development, and major destruction and displacement. More than 2.5 million people have been killed, and more than 5 million have become externally displaced while others have been internally displaced, becoming refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts.


Aside from the Interim National Constitution of the Republic of Sudan[7], the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan of 2005 is the supreme law[8] of Southern Sudan. The Constitution establishes an Executive Branch headed by a President who is both the Head of State, Head of Government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People's Liberation Army. John Garang, the founder of the SPLA/M was the first President 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. Legislative power is vested in the government and the unicameral Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly. The Constitution also provides for an independent judiciary, the highest organ being the Supreme Court.


     South Sudan (to hold referendum in 2011      Abyei (to hold referendum in 2011)      Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile (to hold "popular consultations" in 2011)

Southern Sudan officially consists of the ten states which formerly composed the three historic Provinces of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile. The three areas of Nuba Mountains, Abyei and Blue Nile are culturally and politically part of the South but according to the CPA will have separate administrations until a referendum is held in which they will have the option of joining the South or remain under Northern administration.


Flora and fauna

Southern Sudan's protected areas support some of the most spectacular and important wildlife populations in Africa, and hosted the second largest wildlife migration in the world. Surveys in the preceding years revealed that Boma National Park, west of the Ethiopian border, as well as the Sudd wetland and Southern National Park near the border with Congo, provided habitat for large populations of kob and topis (two types of antelope), buffalo, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests (another antelope), and lions. southern Sudan's forest reserves also provided habitat for bongo (also an antelope), giant forest hogs, red river hogs, forest elephants, chimpanzees, and forest monkeys.

Recent surveys begun in 2005 by WCS in partnership with the semi-autonomous government of Southern Sudan revealed that significant, though diminished wildlife populations still exist, and that, astonishingly, the huge migration of 1.3 million antelopes in the southeast is substantially intact. Today the region is sparsely populated with only 7 million people spread across the vast floodplain of the Nile River.

In 2006 the president of Southern Sudan announced that the region would do everything possible to protect and propagate its flora and fauna, and seek to reduce the effects of wildfires, waste dumping, and water pollution. That was the good news. The bad news is that large multinational companies are poised to extract natural resources in Southern Sudan on a wide scale, posing threats to the nation's remarkable wildlife and their habitats.

Southern Sudan’s wildlife habitats include grasslands, high-altitude plateaus and escarpments, wooded and grassy savannas, floodplains, and wetlands. Associated wildlife species include the endemic white-eared kob and Nile lechwe, as well as elephants, giraffes, common eland, giant eland, oryx, lions, wild dogs, buffalo, and topi (locally called tiang). Little is currently known about the white-eared kob and tiang, whose magnificent migrations were legendary before the civil war. The Boma-Jonglei Landscape region encompasses Boma National Park, broad pasturelands and floodplains, Bandingilo National Park, and the Sudd, a vast area of swamp and seasonally flooded grasslands that includes the Zeraf Wildlife Reserve.



Southern Sudan is composed of more than 200 ethnic groups speaking languages found primarily within Southern Sudan with other languages from neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Congo, Northern Sudan (Khartoum) and more. The official language is both English and Juba Arabic, along with various local languages in states or cities.


It is widely agreed that the largest ethnic group in Southern Sudan are the Dinka, the Nuer then the Shilluk. Other ethnic communities in Southern Sudan are Acholi, Murle, Bari,Madi, Kuku, Funj, Maban, Zandi, Oduk, and more.

Fifth Population and Housing Census of Sudan (2008)

The "Fifth Population and Housing Census of Sudan", of Sudan as a whole, was conducted in April 2008. However the census results of Southern Sudan were rejected by Southern Sudanese officials as reportedly "the central bureau of statistics in Khartoum refused to share the national Sudan census raw data with southern Sudan centre for census, statistic and evaluation."[9] The census showed the Southern Sudan population to be 8.26 million[4][10], however President Salva Kiir had "suspected figures were being deflated in some regions and inflated in others, and that made the final tally "unacceptable"."[11] He also claimed the Southern Sudanese population to really be one-third of Sudan, while the census showed it to be only 22%.[10] Many Southern Sudanese were also said to not have been counted "due to bad weather, poor communication and transportation networks, and some areas were unreachable, while many Southern Sudanese remained in exile in neighbouring countries, leading to 'unacceptable results', according [to] south Sudanese authorities."[11] The chief American technical adviser for the census in the South also said the census-takers probably reached 89% of the population.[12]

New census

In 2009 Northern Sudan started a new Southern Sudanese census ahead of the Southern Sudanese independence referendum, 2011, which is said to also include the Southern Sudanese diaspora. However this initiative was critisised as it was to leave out countries with a high share of the Southern Sudanese diaspora, and rather count countries where the diaspora share was low.[13]


Southern Sudanese practice traditional beliefs and Christianity. Christianity accounts for almost 50% of the religion of Southern Sudan, mostly Catholic and Anglican, while other smaller denominations also are active.[14]


One of the major natural features of the Southern Sudan is the Rive Nile whose many tributaries have sources in the country. It is blessed with many natural resources such as petroleum, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, and hydropower. The country's economy, like the case in other developing countries, is heavily dependent on Agriculture. Some of the agricultural produce include cotton, groundnuts (peanuts), sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame, sheep, and other livestock.

South Sudan also rank the best timber wood exporting country to the international market. Some of the states with best teaks and natural trees for timbers are Western Equatoria and Central Equatoria states. In Central Equatoria some of the existing teak plantations are at Kegulu, the other oldest planted forest reserves are Kawale, Lijo, Loka West and Nuni. While Western Equatoria has its resources, Mvuba trees at Zamoi.

Loka teaks largest plantation in Sudan and Africa in particular


Most of the Government of Southern Sudan's budget comes from oil revenues. The oil and other mineral resources can be found throughout Southern Sudan, but the Bentiu is commonly known as being especially rich in oil.

In recent years, a significant amount of foreign-based oil drilling has begun in Southern Sudan, raising the land's geopolitical profile. Khartoum has partitioned much of Sudan into blocks, with about 85% of the oil coming from the South. Blocks 1, 2, and 4 are controlled by the largest overseas consortium, the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC). GNPOC is composed of the following players: CNPC (People's Republic of China), with a 40% stake; Petronas (Malaysia), with 30%; ONGC (India), with 25%; and Sudapet of the central Sudan government with 5%[citation needed].

The other producing blocks in the South are blocks 3 and 7 in Eastern Upper Nile. These blocks are controlled by Petrodar which is 41% owned by CNPC of China, 40% by Petronas, 8% by Sudapet, 5% by Gulf Petroleum and 5% by Al Thani[citation needed].

Another major block in the South, called Block B by Khartoum, is claimed by several players. Total of France was awarded the concession for the 90,000 square kilometer block in the 1980s but has since done limited work invoking "force majeure". Various elements of the SPLM handed out the block or parts thereof to other parties of Southern Sudan. Several of these pre-Naivasha deals were rejected when the SPLM/A leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior lost power. One company in Southern Sudan, claims that the Government of Southern Sudan has since accepted its pre-CPA contracts[citation needed]. These contracts have been backed by Late Dr. John Garang and handed them Southern Sudanese government, which originally signed agreements in September 2005 as head of the SPLM/A and has publicly supported Southern Sudan's Self-governing deal[citation needed].

The wealth-sharing section of the CPA states that all agreements signed prior to the CPA would hold; they would not be subject to review by the National Petroleum Commission (NPC), a commission set up by the CPA and composed of both Khartoum and Southerners and co-chaired by both President al-Bashir of Khartoum and President Kiir of Southern Sudan. However, the CPA does not specify who could sign those pre-CPA agreements. Both Khartoum and the South have previously attempted to claim the ability to sign agreements under the right of "self-determination" awarded to Southerners[citation needed] which has just been declared on September 19, 2009 in more than 105 countries around the World.

Games and sports

Southern Sudan is popular for many traditional and modern games and sports, particularly wrestling and mock battles. The traditional sports were mainly played after the harvest seasons to celebrate the harvests and finish the farming seasons. The wrestlers were generally strong, well-trained young men. During the matches, they smeared themselves with ochre - perhaps to enhance the grip or heighten their perception. The matches attracted large numbers of spectators who sang, played drums and danced in support of their favorite wrestlers. Though these were perceived as competition, they were primarily for entertainment. At the conclusion, people feasted and generally made merry.

In the modern era, Southern Sudanese have excelled in international sports. Luol Deng is a basketball star with the Chicago Bulls in the NBA. Other leading international basketball players from Southern Sudan include Manute Bol, Ajou Deng, Kueth Duany, Deng Gai and Ater Majok.

Majak Daw is on track to become the first Sudanese-born professional Australian rules football player, having been signed to the North Melbourne Kangaroos in the AFL in late 2009.[15]

Soccer is also becoming popular in Southern Sudan, and there are many initiatives by the Government of Southern Sudan and other partners to promote the sport and improve the level of play. One of these initiatives is Southern Sudan Youth Sports Association (SSYSA). SSYSA is already holding football clinics in Konyokonyo and Muniki areas of Juba in which young boys and coached to become good footballers. It is envisaged that super-players will emerge from these dusty make-shift football fields in both the short- and long-term. In recognition of these efforts with youth football, the country recently hosted the CECAFA Youth soccer competitions. Barely a month earlier, it had also hosted the larger East African Schools Sports tournaments.

Humanitarian situation

Southern Sudan is acknowledged to have some of the worst health indicators in the world.[16][17] In 2004, there were only three surgeons serving southern Sudan, with three proper hospitals, and in some areas there was just one doctor for every 500,000 people.[16]

By the time of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, humanitarian needs in Southern Sudan were massive. However, humanitarian organizations under the leadership of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) managed to ensure sufficient funding to bring relief to the local populations. Along with recovery and development aid, humanitarian projects were included in the 2007 Work Plan of the United Nations and partners.

In 2007, the OCHA (under the leadership of Éliane Duthoit) decreased its involvement in Southern Sudan, as humanitarian needs gradually diminished, slowly but markedly turning over control to the recovery and development activities of NGOs and community-based organisations.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Illiteracy". MS Actionaid Denmark. 
  2. ^ "UNFPA Southern SUDAN". UNFPA. 
  3. ^ "Sudan census committee say population is at 39 million". SudanTribune. 27 April 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Discontent over Sudan census". 21 May 2009. 
  5. ^ Fisher, Jonah (October 23, 2005). "South Sudan gets new government". BBC News, United Kingdom. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  6. ^ News, Reuters (May 27, 2008). "Southern Sudan fragile peace". Thomson Reuters Foundation. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  7. ^ "Interim National Constitution of the Republic of Sudan, 2005". 
  8. ^ "Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan of 2005". 
  9. ^ "South Sudan parliament throw outs census results". SudanTribune. 8 July 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Fick, Maggie (8 June 2009). "S. Sudan Census Bureau Releases Official Results Amidst Ongoing Census Controversy". !enough The project to end genocide and crimes against humanity. 
  11. ^ a b Birungi, Marvis (10 May 2009). "Southern Sudanese officials decry ‘unfortunate’ announcement of census results". The New Sudan Vision. 
  12. ^ Thompkins, Gwen (15 April 2009). "Ethnic Divisions Complicate Sudan's Census". NPR. 
  13. ^ "South Sudan says Northern Sudan's census dishonest". Radio Nederland Wereldomroep. 6 November 2009. 
  14. ^ "Christianity in Southern Sudan". Hope for the Future International. 
  15. ^ North punts on a touch of Majak
  16. ^ a b Ross, Emma (January 28, 2004). Southern Sudan as unique combination of worst diseases in the world. Sudan Tribune.
  17. ^ Moszynski, Peter (July 23, 2005). Conference plans rebuilding of Southern Sudan's health service. BMJ.
  18. ^ SUDAN: Peace bolsters food security in the south. IRIN. April 18, 2007.

Further reading

  • Biel, Melha Rout (2007), Southern Sudan after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Jena: Netzbandt Verlag, ISBN 9783937884011 

External links

Coordinates: 4°51′N 31°36′E / 4.85°N 31.6°E / 4.85; 31.6

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Africa : Saharan Africa : Sudan : Southern Sudan

Southern Sudan is a breakaway region of Sudan, which in the wake of intense fighting with the central government in years past, now enjoys a good deal of autonomy and control over much of its oilfields.

  • Central Equatoria
  • East Equatoria
  • Junqali
  • Lakes District
  • North Bahr al Ghazal
  • Unity
  • Upper Nile
  • Warab
  • West Equatoria
  • West Bahr al Ghazal

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