On July 9, 2011, U.S. President Barak Obama formally recognized the Republic of South Sudan as a sovereign and independent state. Its capital city, Juba, is located in the southern area, along the White Nile River (Bahr al Jabal). The country is landlocked, bordering: Sudan to the north; Ethiopia to the east; Kenya, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo to the south; and Central African Republic to the west.
South Sudan has a population of around 8 million and a predominantly rural, subsistence economy. The people practice mainly indigenous traditional beliefs, although Christian missionaries have converted some. South Sudan also contains many tribal groups and many more languages than are used in Sudan.
Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the latter part of the 20th century. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The conflict has severely affected the population of South Sudan, resulting in over 2 million deaths and more than 4 million people displaced between 1983 and 2005. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years. After which, a referendum for independence was scheduled and held in January 2011.
White House; CIA World Factbook; U.S. State Department Background Notes, 7/2011; 7/2011; 4/2011
This map has also been used:
- Sudan, January 2011