South Sudan: history, economy, geography, map

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Southern Sudan, or Republic of South Sudan, is a young African country created in 2011 after the consolidation of its sudan independence. It is an underdeveloped nation with low levels of social development where more than three quarters of the population live below the poverty line and depend on agricultural activities for survival.

Despite this, the country is rich in natural resources such as Petroleum, whose exploration and commercialization make up the largest share of the country's revenues. South Sudan has faced decades of civil war and, after separation, conflicts with the neighboring country, especially in the border area.

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Topics in this article

  • 1 - Summary about South Sudan
  • 2 - General data about South Sudan
  • 3 - History of South Sudan
  • 4 - Geography of South Sudan
    • → Climate of South Sudan
    • → South Sudan relief
    • → Vegetation of South Sudan
    • → Hydrography of South Sudan
  • 5 - Demographics of South Sudan
  • 6 - Culture of South Sudan
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  • 7 - Economy of South Sudan
  • 8 - Infrastructure of South Sudan
  • 9 - Government of South Sudan
  • 10 - Etymology of South Sudan
  • 11 - Facts about South Sudan

South Sudan Overview

  • South Sudan is an African country located in the region of Africa Eastern.

  • Its capital is the city of Juba.

  • The territory that is now known as South Sudan gained its independence in 2011 and is the youngest country in the world.

  • It has a tropical climate and relief formed by plateaus and plains, in addition to vegetation predominantly formed by savannah cover.

  • THE population of the country is 11,381,000 inhabitants.

  • South Sudan's urbanization rate is very low, at 20.8%. Juba is its largest city, with 440,000 inhabitants.

  • South Sudan is an underdeveloped country with a high level of poverty.

  • Most of its population depends on agricultural activities for subsistence, while the country's income comes from the exploration and commercialization of oil.

  • The country has a precarious infrastructure that was weakened during the decades of civil war.

  • The main conflicts take place today in the border region with Sudan.

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General facts about South Sudan

  • Official name: Republic of South Sudan.

  • Gentle: South Sudanese.

  • Territorial extension: 658,841 km².

  • Location: East Africa.

  • Capital: Mane.

  • Climate:tropical.

  • Government: presidential republic.

  • Administrative division: ten states, two administrative areas and a special administrative status area.

  • Languages: English (official), Arabic and other local languages.

  • religions:

    • Christian religions: 60.5%;

    • popular religiosity: 32.9%;

    • Islamic: 6.2%;

    • others: <1%.

  • Population: 11,381,000 inhabitants (UN, 2021).

  • Demographic density: 18.6 inhab./km².

  • Human development Index (HDI): 0,433.

  • Coin: South Sudanese Pound.

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): US$ 5.73 billion (IMF, 2022).

  • per capita GDP: US$ 392.7.

  • Gini: 0,460.

  • Timezone: GMT +2.

  • External relations:

    • United Nations Organization (UN);

    • International Monetary Fund (IMF);

    • world Bank;

    • African Union (AU).

South Sudan History

South Sudan was part of the territory of Sudan. The first native population groups that settled in the region arrived there around the 15th century, a few hundred years before the beginning of their colonization. Initially, the North African peoples settled in that region, more precisely the Egyptians, and the territory became a colony of Egypt.

the later egyptians came to rule Sudan with the help of Great Britain, from the end of the 19th century, thus constituting the colonial authority that predominated in Sudan until its independence.

the Sudanese territory if you saw readvre dThat colonizing influence only in the mid-twentieth century, which took place through an agreement signed between Egypt and the UK from 1956. Shortly before this event, Sudan was immersed in a long and devastating civil war between thes porions North and South that claimed at least 2 million victims as a result of famine and drought, and the conflict was triggered due to political disagreements between the two parties, which have their roots in ethnic-religious differences.

The Sudanese Civil War extended until 2005, with a short truce between 1972 and 1983, after the signing of the Addis Ababa Treaty. Subsequently, at least one ceasefire period was requested by the People's Liberation Army of Sudan, which worked for what is now South Sudan, as a result of the worsening drought and consequent famine in region.

On January 9, 2005, the North and South signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that provided for the country's fragmentation and South Sudan's independence within a six-year period. The new territory elected its first president in 2010 and a year later held a referendum to decide on the separation, confirming the desire for independence from Sudan by the majority of 98.86% of the wishes.

South Sudan was made official as a sovereign nation on July 9, 2011, becoming a member of the UN and the African Union in the same month. Despite this, conflicts in the Sudan border region did not end with independence, and a new war with the neighboring country and also a civil conflict broke out in the region in 2013, lasting until 2020.

South Sudan Geography

South Sudan is a African country located in East Africa region, with capital in the city of Juba. The South Sudanese territory extends over 658,841 km² south of the region called Sahel, which separates the desert from the savannah and no outlet to the ocean.

Does territorial boundary with six other countries, which are listed below:

  • Sudan, at North;

  • Ethiopia, to the east;

  • Kenya, to the southeast;

  • Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the south;

  • Central African Republic, to the west.

Next, we will study the main physical characteristics of this country.

→ Climate of South Sudan

South Sudan has tropical weather with seasons alternately hot and humid. This is due to the oscillation of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), responsible for the rains seasonal in the country. However, some areas even experience recurrent rains for eight months of the year, with a short dry season between January and April.

At temperatures annual averages are high and are around 35 °C, while the minimums vary between 10 and 20 °C. The accumulated volume of rainfall in 12 months reaches 1,500 mm in most of the country, with the exception of the Southeast, where it rains less than 500 mm during the year.

→ South Sudan relief

O relief of South Sudan is characterized by the presence of extensive plains to the north and highlands to the south, where the highest terrains in the country are located. The highest point is Mount Kinyeti, at an altitude of 3,187 meters.

→ Vegetation of South Sudan

The vegetation cover of South Sudan is characteristic of the savannah, with a predominance of shrubby plants, small and medium-sized trees well spaced, with a southern transition zone marked by the presence of savanna vegetation and also of forests.

→ Hydrography of South Sudan

O rthe Nile it's the rio Branco Nile are the two main waterways that bathe the territory of South Sudan, which has most of its drainage network inserted into the Nile river basin.

 Aerial view of Juba, capital of South Sudan, on the banks of the River Nile.
 Aerial view of Juba, capital of South Sudan, on the banks of the River Nile.

South Sudan Demographics

South Sudan currently has 11,381,000 inhabitants, thus being the 32nd country in population on the African continent. Despite its population, the country has a low demographic density, with some pockets of settlement in urbanized areas and others close to the course of the White Nile. The population distribution of southern Sudan is around 18.6 inhab./km², one of the lowest in all of Africa.

Most of the South Sudanese population lives in rural areas of the country.. Only 20.8% of South Sudanese residents live in urban areas, which corresponds to 2,367,248 people, of which 440,000 live in Juba, the country's capital and largest city.

The population of South Sudan has the second highest annual growth rate in the world, which is currently 4.91%. This happens for two reasons. The first is the high birth rate compared to mortality, in addition to high fertility (5.32 children per woman). The number of children born in the country is the ninth largest in the world and almost four times the number of deaths.

The second cause for the high population growth is the positive migratory balance, which indicates that the entry of migrants into the country is greater than the exit. In this case, the arriving migrants are in the category of refugees, coming from other african countries in conflict.

South Sudanese Culture

South Sudan has a culture diversified due to the various ethnic groups that make up its population., each with its own customs and traditions. The Dinka and Nuer groups are the two largest and represent approximately half of the entire South Sudanese population, but it is estimated that there are at least 64 ethnic groups in the country.

Many of these groups have aspects in common, such as grazing and the development of agricultural cultivation, of cattle as a wedding dowry and handicrafts made from fibers and other raw materials obtained from the vegetation of the savannah.

Although English is the official language of the country, an influence of colonization, the Arabic language and its local variants, as well as other languages ​​characteristic of South Sudanese ethnic groups, are spoken in the country. In gastronomy, one of the traditional dishes is a very thin fermented bread called Kisra, which is also widely consumed in other African countries.

South Sudan's Economy

South Sudan is a underdeveloped economy which has one of the lowest human development indices in the world, being a country marked by marked socioeconomic inequality in which 76.4% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Experiencing a deep humanitarian and economic crisis caused by conflicts with the now neighboring Sudan, South Sudan depends almost exclusively on the exploration and commercialization of oil for the maintenance of internal accounts. It is known that the share of the country's income derived from this activity reaches 98%.

In contrast, your population leans on agricultural activity and external support for subsistence, still facing high unemployment rates, which in 2017 was 38.6% among individuals between 15 and 24 years of age.

The main agricultural crops and products derived from livestock developed by the South Sudanese population are: vegetables in general, cassava, sorghum, sesame seeds, milk (from cow, goat and sheep) and beef.

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South Sudan's Infrastructure

THE infrastructure of South Sudan is quite limited and precarious. Approximately a quarter of the population does not have access to sources of potable water, while only 24.6% are served by adequate sanitation networks. Electricity reaches 28.2% of South Sudanese, all of which comes from fossil fuels.

Almost all of the country's more than 90,000 km of roads are unpaved, with the exception of 300 km that connect the capital, Juba, with the Ugandan border. South Sudan's railways total 248 km, but they are not currently in operation. In addition, the country has 89 airports, most of which are also unpaved.

South Sudan government

The current form of government in South Sudan is the presidentialism. The president of the republic, head of the executive branch, is directly elected by popular vote to serve a four-year term, with the possibility of reelection.

The National Legislature is the bicameral body responsible for the Legislature in South Sudan. One of the chambers corresponds to the Council of States, whose establishment was provided for by the interim constitution of 2011 and was reconstituted ten years later. The National Transitional Legislative Assembly, which was established in 2015 and officially created a year later, works with the Council of States.

Etymology of South Sudan

The name South Sudan makes reference to the geographical position of the country, differentiating it from Sudan, a territory to which it was integrated until its independence in 2011. In the Arabic language, the word “Sudan” comes from the expression bilad-as-sudan, that means “land of black men”.

Facts about South Sudan

  • The population of South Sudan is the youngest in the world. The median age of its population is just 18.6 years.

  • South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, which is 1,150 deaths per 100,000 population.

  • South Sudan's oil exports are made via the Red Sea, with pipelines running through Sudan's territory.

  • Oil was discovered on the territory of South Sudan in 1977, when it was still part of Sudan.

By Paloma Guitarrara
Geography teacher
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