Egypt attempted to colonize the region of southern Sudan by establishing the province of Equatoria in the 1870s. Islamic Mahdist revolutionaries overran the region in 1885, but in 1898 a British force was able to overthrow the Mahdist regime. An Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was established the following year with Equatoria being the southernmost of its eight provinces. The isolated region was largely left to itself over the following decades, but Christian missionaries converted much of the population and facilitated the spread of English. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the understanding that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the political system. When the Arab Khartoum government reneged on its promises, a mutiny began that led to two prolonged periods of conflict (1955-1972 and 1983-2005) in which perhaps 2.5 million people died - mostly civilians - due to starvation and drought. Ongoing peace talks finally resulted in a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in January 2005. As part of this agreement the south was granted a six-year period of autonomy to be followed by a referendum on final status. The result of this referendum, held in January 2011, was a vote of 98% in favor of secession. Independence was attained on 9 July 2011.
Central African Republic 989 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 639 km, Ethiopia 934 km, Kenya 232 km, Sudan 2,184 km, Uganda 435 km
note:South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment; final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan
the terrain gradually rises from plains in the north and center to southern highlands along the border with Uganda and Kenya; the White Nile, flowing north out of the uplands of Central Africa, is the major geographic feature of the country supporting agriculture and extensive wild animal populations; The Sudd (a name derived from floating vegetation that hinders navigation) is a large swampy area of more than 100,000 sq km fed by the waters of the White Nile that dominates the center of the country
bicameral National Legislature consists of the National Legislative Assembly (332 seats) and the Council of States (50 seats); members serve four-year terms
National Legislative Assembly - last held 11-15 April 2010 (next to be held in 2015); Council of States - established and members appointed 1 August 2011
National Legislative Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SPLM 251, SPLM-DC 6, NCP 3, independent 6, unknown 66; Council of States - seats by party - SPLM 20, unknown 30
note:a presidential decree of 1 August 2011 reconstituted the National Legislative Assembly, as permitted under Article 94 of the Transitional Constitution, to include the 170 members elected 11-15 April 2010, 96 former members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Sudan, and 66 newly appointed members for a total of 332; a presidential decree also established a Council of States, initially with 50 members - the 20 former members of the Council of States of the Republic of Sudan plus an additional 30 appointed representatives
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green; the red band is edged in white; a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side contains a gold, five-pointed star; black represents the people of South Sudan, red the blood shed in the struggle for freedom, green the verdant land, and blue the waters of the Nile; the gold star represents the unity of the states making up South Sudan
note:resembles the flag of Kenya; one of only two national flags to display six colors as part of its primary design, the other is South Africa's
Industry and infrastructure in landlocked South Sudan are severely underdeveloped and poverty is widespread, following several decades of civil war with the north. Subsistence agriculture provides a living for the vast majority of the population. Property rights are tentative and price signals are missing because markets are not well organized. South Sudan has little infrastructure - just 60 km of paved roads. Electricity is produced mostly by costly diesel generators and running water is scarce. The government spends large sums of money to maintain a large army; delays in paying salaries have resulted in riots by unruly soldiers. Ethnic conflicts have resulted in a large number of civilian deaths and displacement. South Sudan depends largely on imports of goods, services, and capital from the north. Despite these disadvantages, South Sudan does have abundant natural resources. South Sudan produces nearly three-fourths of the former Sudan's total oil output of nearly a half million barrels per day. The government of South Sudan derives nearly 98% of its budget revenues from oil. Oil is exported through two pipelines that run to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea, and the 2005 oil sharing agreement with Khartoum called for a 50-50 sharing of oil revenues between the two entities. That deal expired on 9 July, however, when South Sudan became an independent country. The economy of South Sudan undoubtedly will remain linked to Sudan for some time, given the long lead time and great expense required to build another pipeline. South Sudan also holds one of the richest agricultural areas in Africa in the White Nile valley, which has very fertile soils and more-than-adequate water supplies. Currently the region supports 10-20 million head of cattle. South Sudan also contains large wildlife herds, which could be exploited in the future to attract eco-tourists. And the White Nile has sufficient flow to generate large quantities of hydroelectricity. South Sudan does not have large external debt or structural trade deficits. South Sudan has received more than $4 billion in foreign aid since 2005, largely from the UK, US, Norway, and Netherlands, but Khartoum has imposed blockades on goods and capital going to South Sudan. The World Bank plans to support investment in infrastructure, agriculture, and power generation. The Government of South Sudan has set a target for economic growth of 6% for the remainder of 2011, and expects 7.2% growth in 2012. Inflation stood at 8.6% in April 2011, with high fuel prices pushing up food prices. After independence, South Sudan's central bank plans to issue a new currency, the South Sudanese Pound, allowing a short grace period for turning in the old currency. Long term problems include alleviating poverty, maintaining macroeconomic stability, improving tax collection and financial management, focusing resources on speeding growth, and improving the business environment.
the Government of South Sudan announced in August 2010 that anyone younger than 18 years of age would be mustered out of the army, but 900 children were estimated to still be active at the end of that year; in April 2011, a conscription program was being implemented to thwart recruitment of military-aged males into other armed groups (2011)
South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan; periodic violent skirmishes with South Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic; the boundary that separates Kenya and South Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times