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Discover  South Sudan with Timothy Tye

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Cattle on the street in Juba, South SudanCattle on the street in Juba, South Sudan
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authorshipFabrizio Demartis
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South Sudan is a newly created country in Africa. Officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, it became a new, independent state on 9 July, 2011. South Sudan then joined the United Nations on 14 July and the African Union on 28 July of the same year.

South Sudan covers 619,745 sq km (239,285 sq mi) and has a population of 8.3 million people (2011 estimate). Its capital and biggest city is Juba. The country enjoys a nominal GDP of $1,546 (2011 estimate). It uses the South Sudanese pound as its official currency. South Sudan is in the East Africa Time zone (UTC+3).

Juba Hut, SudanJuba Hut, Sudan
photo source
authorshipFabrizio Demartis
photo licensing

South Sudan is a landlocked country in the Sahel region, which is regarded as being in northeastern Africa, though geographically, it is in the heart of the African landmass. The country 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.

South Sudan is the traditional homeland of the Nilotic peoples which include the Dinka, the Nuer and the Shilluk tribes who migrated into the area during the 10th century. In the 16th century a non-Nilotic group, the Azande, migrated into South Sudan. As they often expand their territory into neighboring lands, the Azande caused friction with the other existing tribes including the Moru, the Mundu, the Pöjulu and other tribes.

Huts outside Wau, South SudanHuts outside Wau, South Sudan
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The South Sudan area was under the rule of Egypt in the later half of the 19th century, when its southern portion was made the province of Equatoria. The Mahdist Revolt of the 1880s put an end to Egyptian administration. In 1947, the British attempted to merge South Sudan with Uganda, but instead it joined North Sudan.

Since Sudanese independence, the area has gone through two civil wars, the second lasting twenty-one years and inflicted severe hardship to the population. Some 2.5 million people were killed in the conflict and another 5 million displaced. A referendum held on 9-15 January 2011 showed that the majority (98.83%) of South Sudanese want independence from Sudan. This led to the creation of the state of South Sudan, but even then, conflict is still on-going between the Army of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Army.

Planning your visit to South Sudan

Juba, the capital of South Sudan, can be reached by plane from Addis Ababa, Entebba and Nairobi. So far, there aren't any flights from outside Africa.

Major Towns in South Sudan

  1. Juba - capital
  2. Bentiu
  3. Malakal
  4. Rumbek
  5. Yei

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