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Southern Sudan (officially known as the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan) is located in Africa with Jubamarker as its capital city. It is bordered by Ethiopiamarker to the east, Kenyamarker, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congomarker to the south, and the Central African Republicmarker to the west. To the north lies the predominantly Arab and Muslim region directly under the control of the central government, with its capital at Khartoummarker. Southern Sudan includes the vast swamp region of the Suddmarker 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 .

History

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.

Egyptmarker, 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, Gondokoromarker, Dufile and Wadelaimarker.

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 , 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.

After the death of John Garang, the Southern Sudan Army and the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) overcame their mutual antagonism and merged in January 2006 under the Juba Declaration. The SSDF was founded by the current Vice President of Southern Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar. Under the Juba Declaration, General Matip became the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Sudanese Army, and his SSDF forces were also integrated into the Southern Sudan Army, swelling its ranks from 50,000 to an estimated 309,000 troops. The total has become 359,000 troops. All are now united under one army as the Army of Southern Sudan. General Oyay Deng Ajak was appointed the Commander-in-Chief and Chief-of-Staff for the Army of Southern Sudan.

Government

Aside from the Interim National Constitution of the Republic of Sudan, the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan of 2005 is the supreme law 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.

Geography

Southern Sudan officially consists of the ten states which formerly composed the three historic Provinces of Bahr el Ghazalmarker, Equatoria, and Upper Nile. The three areas of Nuba Mountainsmarker, Abyeimarker and Blue Nilemarker 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.[[Image:Political Regions of Sudan, July 2006.svg|thumb|right|

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Demographics

Language

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. It has been determined that the official language is both English and Juba-Arabic, along with various local languages in states or cities.

Three widely used African languages in Southern Sudan are Thongjieng (5,000,000 speakers), Thok Naadh (9,500,000 speakers), and Shilluk (more than 1,500,000 speakers). Nuer is widely spoken in Bentiu, Nasir, Akobo, Maywuut etc. and Shilluk is widely spoken in Upper Nile or in the Kingdom of Shilluk; Juba Arabic is widely spoken in almost every part of Southern Sudan but mostly spoken in the States of Eastern Equatora, Western Equatoriamarker, and Bahr el Jabel. Nubian languages are widely spoken in the mountains of the State of Nuba. The Uduk language is spoken by the Uduk people but also by some of their neighbors. There are more than 200 languages spoken in Southern Sudan in total, but English is currently the official language of Southern Sudan.

Population

No census in Southern Sudan has been undertaken yet, and without a proper census, given the right to polygamy and large families, the relative proportions of more than 15 million inhabitants of Southern Sudan are difficult to estimate. However, it is widely agreed that the largest ethnic group in Southern Sudan is Dinka, followed by Nuer then by Shilluk. Other ethnic communities in Southern Sudan are Acholi, Murle, Bari, Nubian, Funj, Maban, Zandi, Oduk, and more.

Religion

Southern Sudanese practice traditional beliefs and Christianity.

Economy

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

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 Chinamarker), with a 40% stake; Petronas (Malaysiamarker), with 30%; ONGC (Indiamarker), with 25%; and Sudapet of the central Sudan government with 5% .

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 .

Another major block in the South, called Block B by Khartoum, is claimed by several players. Total of Francemarker 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 . 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 .

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 which has just been declared on September 19, 2009 in more than 105 countries around the World.

Humanitarian situation

Southern Sudan is acknowledged to have some of the worst health indicators in the world. 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.

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, OCHA (under the leadership of Eliane Duthoit) started to phase out of 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.

See also



References

  1. Juba Declaration on Unity and Integration. Sudan Tribune. January 10, 2006.
  2. Interim National Constitution of the Republic of Sudan, 2005
  3. Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan of 2005
  4. Ross, Emma (January 28, 2004). Southern Sudan as unique combination of worst diseases in the world. Sudan Tribune.
  5. Moszynski, Peter (July 23, 2005). Conference plans rebuilding of Southern Sudan's health service. BMJ.
  6. SUDAN: Peace bolsters food security in the south. IRIN. April 18, 2007.


Further reading



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