North Africa

South Sudan Independence

As a country located in Africa according to ARISTMARKETING, South Sudan held a referendum on whether or not it should remain a part of Sudan between January 9 and 15, 2011. This was part of the 2005 Naivasha Agreement between the central government of Khartoum and the People’s Liberation Army of Sudan. A simultaneous referendum was held in Abyei on the advisability of becoming part of South Sudan (an international arbitration eventually awarded the oil enclaves of Heglig and Bamboo to Sudan).

On February 7, 2011, the Referendum Commission published the final results, in which 98.83% of voters were in favor of independence. Although votes were suspended in 10 of the 79 counties for exceeding 100% voter turnout, the number of votes was well above the 60% turnout requirement, and the majority vote in favor of secession was not in dispute. Thus, the 9 of July of 2011, South Sudan proclaimed independence from Sudan peacefully.

After independence the government of South Sudan became a secure rearguard and support for the rebels fighting against its northern neighbor, particularly in the Darfur region [1] [2] . In April 2012, the South Sudanese Army militarily occupied the Heglig oil enclave, which led to a military confrontation with Sudan [3] and the immediate condemnation of the UN Security Council. Sudan responded militarily and a border conflict broke out between the two nations that in the first weeks left tens of thousands of displaced people. [4] . On May 3, South Sudan and Sudan agreed to cease hostilities along the border in application of a ceasefire proposed by the African Union and the United Nations [5] and a month later, on June 4, the ministers Defense officials of both countries agreed to create a 10 km demilitarized zone on the common border [6] .

The South Sudanese government finally reached an agreement with the Sudanese government on August 4 on the distribution between the two states of oil revenues from disputed border areas. As stipulated in South Sudan itself, it would pay Sudan $ 9.48 for each barrel of fuel exported through the pipelines that remained in Sudanese territory after the South Sudanese separation in 2011. The agreement was reached after Sudan abandoned its demand of 36 dollars for each barrel and South Sudan decided to increase its offer of 1.87 dollars [7] . On Thursday, September 27, South Sudan signed in Addis Ababa with Sudan a series of agreements on security and cooperation. However, they were unable to resolve the dispute over the status of the disputed area of Abyei or the demarcation of its border. [8]

The disruption of oil export earnings due to the conflict with Sudan led to an escalation of the humanitarian crisis in a country with almost no basic services like South Sudan. The government was forced to cut the salaries of civil servants – including the security forces – prompting protests in some areas of the country during the month of December. The army repressed the protests and caused several deaths among the protesters, which was condemned by the international community [9] [10] .

In April 2013, the President of Sudan, Omar al Bashir visited Sudan for the first time with the aim of ironing out the rough spots with South Sudan [11] . As a result of his visit, that same month, thousands of rebels who were up in arms in Unitystate, receiving material support from Khartoum, surrendered to the South Sudanese army. The rebels benefited from an amnesty that was negotiated between the two countries [12] .

Demography

Ethnicities and languages

The total population, according to the 2008 census, was 8,260,490 residents, of which 44% were between 0 and 14 years of age (1,945,033 men / 1,722,860 women); 53% between 15 and 64 years old (men 2,216,427 / women 2,157,893) and 2.6% are 65 years or older (men 125,840 / women 92,437). The country’s urbanization rate was 22% in 2009 and infant mortality was 102 deaths per thousand births, according to 2006 data. [16]

The main ethnic groups in the country are the Dinka, Kakwa, bari, Zande, Shilluk, kuku, murle, mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, bviri, LNDI, Anuak, bongo, bango, dungotona, and Acholi.

The official languages, according to article 6 of the constitution, are English and Arabic, although several Nilotic languages such as Bari, Kakwa, Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk are also spoken in the country. Juba Arabic is also spoken

Religion

According to Article 8 of the Constitution of South Sudan, religion is separate from the State and all religions have equal treatment before the constituted power. Article 23 also establishes freedom of worship. According to the laws of South Sudan, all matters concerning the laws are dealt with by civil and non-religious courts. [17]

Christianity

Catholic church. It has three and a half million faithful, according to data from the World Council of Churches [18] , which are grouped into one archdiocese and six dioceses:

  • Diocese of Malakal
  • Diocese of Rumbek
  • Diocese of Tombura-Yambio
  • Diocese of Torit
  • Diocese of Wau
  • Diocese of Yei

Anglican Church. It has approximately one and a half million faithful who are grouped in the Spiscopal Church of Sudan with dioceses in: Bor, Juba, Malakal, Rumbek, Wau and Yei; and the Anglican Catholic Church with its diocese in Aweil

Protestantism. Protestants are present in South Sudan with more than one million 160 thousand faithful. The denominations with the broadest membership are:

  • Evangelical Church of South Sudan
  • Seventh-day Adventist Church [19]
  • Presbyterian Church of Sudan
  • Africa Inland Church Sudan
  • Baptists

Pentecostals. They form a small number of believers with just over 37 thousand people grouped in the Pentecostal Church of Sudan

Other religions

After Christianity, animist practices follow in order of importance in terms of the number of followers, which are exercised by more than 30% of the population; and then Islam, which is practiced by just over 6%. There are also a small number of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Copts.

South Sudan Independence