Learn more about Southern Sudan
| Image:Flag of the SPLAM.svg|
The SPLA/M's flag of the 'New Sudan'
|Official languages||English, Arabic|
|President||Cdr. Salva Kiir Mayardit|
|Vice-President||Dr. Riek Machar|
|Area||597 000 km²|
– Total (2005)
Southern Sudan is a region of Sudan. The Sudanese government agreed to give autonomy to the region in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement<ref>The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between The Government of The Republic of The Sudan and The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Sudan People's Liberation Army (from reliefweb.int)</ref> (also known as the Naivasha Agreement) signed on January 9, 2005 in Naivasha, Kenya with the SPLA/M, tentatively bringing an end to the Second Sudanese Civil War. Southern Sudan borders Ethiopia on the east, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, and the Central African Republic to the west. To the north lies the predominantly Arab and Muslim region directly under the control of the central government.
The southern Sudanese practice mainly indigenous traditional beliefs, although a few follow Christianity. The south also contains many tribal groups and many more languages are used than in the north. The Dinka, whose population is estimated at more than 1 million, is the largest of the many black African tribes of the Sudan. Other Nilotic tribes are the Shilluk and the Nuer. The Azande, and Jo Luo are 'Sudanic' tribes in the west, and the Acholi and Lotuhu live in the extreme south, extending into Uganda.
The distinctive Juba Arabic language is a widely used lingua franca in Southern Sudan,this (arabi juba) deriving mostly from the Bari tribal native tongue. The Bari Tribe is considered the heart of Juba or ( Juba na Bari). although the language of education and government business is English. Two widely used tribal languages are Thuongjang and Nuer. Thuongjang is officially and culturally active in the state of North Barh al Ghazal, West Barh al Ghazal, Lakes, Warab, Jonglei, and autonomous independent Abiey. Nuer is active in Unity State and Upper Nile state.
 Legal and administrative structure
Following the Naivasha Agreement which granted autonomy to Southern Sudan, the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan<ref name="UN_review">The Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan (PDF) (cushcommunity.org)</ref> was adopted in December 2005, leading to the creation of the Government of Southern Sudan.
The relationship between autonomous Southern Sudan and the neighbouring areas of Blue Nile State, Nuba Mountains/Southern Kurdufan, and Abyei has yet to be definitively determined, although for the time being these are effectively part of the North.
Southern Sudan consists of the ten states, formerly composing the provinces of Equatoria (Central Equatoria, East Equatoria, and West Equatoria), Bahr el Ghazal (North Bahr al Ghazal, West Bahr al Ghazal, Lakes, and Warab), and Upper Nile (Junqali, Wahdah, and Upper Nile).
Pending elections, seats in both the Southern Sudan Assembly and the Government of the Southern Sudan are to be divided in a fixed proportion between the SPLM (70%), the NCP (the former NIF) (15%), and "other Southern political forces" (15%). Before his death on 30 July 2005, longtime rebel leader John Garang was the President of Southern Sudan. Garang was succeeded by Salva Kiir Mayardit who was sworn in as first vice president of Sudan on 11 August 2005.
 Modern history
The Southern region has a population of around 9 million and a predominantly rural, subsistence economy. This region has been negatively affected by the First and Second Sudanese Civil Wars for all but 10 years since independence in 1956, resulting in serious neglect, lack of infrastructure development, and major destruction and displacement. More than 2 million people have died, and more than 4 million are internally displaced or have become refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts.
In recent years, a significant amount of foreign-based oil drilling has begun in Southern Sudan, raising the land's geopolitical profile abroad. The largest overseas consortium is controlled by; the People's Republic of China, with a 40% stake, Malaysia, with 30%, and India, with 25%.<ref>It'll do what it can get away with, The Economist, December 1, 2005</ref> Canadian-based oil company Talisman withdrew operations in Sudan in 2003, due largely to external lobbying and pressure over political and human rights issues.
 Independence Movement
An independence movement is active in Southern Sudan. A referendum on independence is scheduled for 2011.
 Notes and references
 External links
- Site for Southern Independence
- UN Mission in Sudan
- Comprehensive Peace Agreement
- Resolving the Boundary Dispute in Sudan's Abyei Region U.S. Institute of Peace Briefing, October 2005
- Introduction to the Laws of New Sudande:Südsudan