Media Communications: TV is controlled by the government; several private FM stations are operational in South Sudan; some foreign radio broadcasts are available.
Government type: Republic.
Head of state and government: President Salva KIIR Mayardit (since 9 July 2011).
International organization memberships: AU, IFRCS, Interpol, ITU, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU.
Administrative Divisions: 10 states; Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria.
Historical Background: Egypt attempted to colonize the region of southern Sudan by establishing the province of Equatoria in the 1870s. Islamic Mahdist revolutionaries overran the region in 1885, but in 1898 a British force was able to overthrow the Mahdist regime. An Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was established the following year with Equatoria being the southernmost of its eight provinces. The isolated region was largely left to itself over the following decades, but Christian missionaries converted much of the population and facilitated the spread of English. When Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the understanding that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the political system. When the Arab Khartoum government reneged on its promises, a mutiny began that led to two prolonged periods of conflict (1955-1972 and 1983-2005) in which perhaps 2.5 million people died – mostly civilians – due to starvation and drought. Ongoing peace talks finally resulted in a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in January 2005. As part of this agreement the south was granted a six-year period of autonomy to be followed by a referendum on final status. The result of this referendum, held in January 2011, was a vote of 98% in favor of secession. Independence was attained on 9 July 2011.
Trends and Social Issues
Understanding the trends and social issues of a particular country should always take into consideration the opinions of persons within the country. The Center for Youth Studies is looking for contributors from each country to add to our appreciation and understanding of its culture, potential, trends and critical issues. If you have insight as to what is important to South Sudan, please contact us.
We look forward to hearing the insights of native South Sudanese on what they consider the most important issues facing them. From an outsiders perspective current issues would include the conflict with Sudan over oil and territory disputes, economic development, and the governmental corruption and leadership. What are the most important issues for South Sudan today? This will be added as we receive this information.