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Bentiu is located in South Sudan
Location in South Sudan
Coordinates: 9°15′36″N 29°48′00″E / 9.26000°N 29.80000°E / 9.26000; 29.80000Coordinates: 9°15′36″N 29°48′00″E / 9.26000°N 29.80000°E / 9.26000; 29.80000
Country  South Sudan
State Unity State
County Rubkona County
Elevation 347 m (1,138 ft)
Population (2010 est.)
 • Total 6,508

Bentiu, also spelled Bantiu, is a town in South Sudan.


Bentiu is located in Rubkona County, Unity State, in northern South Sudan, near the International border with the Republic of Sudan. This location lies approximately 654 kilometres (406 mi), by road, northwest of Juba, the capital and largest city in the country.[1] Bentiu sits on the southern bank of the Bahr al-Ghazal River, that separates it from the town of Rubkona, which sits on the river's northern bank. The two towns are joined by the El Salaam Bridge that spans the river.[2] This bridge was bombed and partially damaged by Sudanese MiG 29 bomber airplanes on April 23, 2012, along with a market in Bentiu.[3]


As of 2006, the population of Bentiu was estimated at about 9,700.[4]


The town is the administrative, political and commercial center of Unity State in South Sudan. The State Governor maintains the headquarters of the state in the town. However the County Headquarters for Rubkona County, in which Bentiu is located are situated in the town of Rubkona, across the river.

During the South Sudanese conflict that began in December 2013, the national government lost control of the town to a commander loyal to Riek Machar, although Machar denied this.[5][6] Violence in the area continued, and on 17 January 2014 a UN official was quoted as saying that the town “simply did not exist anymore”, and that “it was completely burnt down”.[7] In April 2014, hundreds of Bentiu civilians were massacred by the “Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition Army” led by former vice president Riek Machar.[8]



After the destruction during the Second Sudanese Civil War, infrastructure in and around Bentiu is now being rebuilt. The projects that have been rehabilitated, constructed or restored include the following:

  1. Bentiu Airport
  2. Bentiu Civil Hospital - Donated and constructed by the China National Petroleum Corporation
  3. Bahr al-Ghazal River - Redredged to allow barges free passage
  4. Rubkona New Market - Largest source of fresh produce for both towns


Bentiu is also the location of the planned Western Upper Nile University, a promise by the state's education officials to speed up the higher education system in Unity State. Bentiu has three primary schools and two secondary schools. These schools were teaching in Arabic before 2005 and as of 2011 English is being taught.[11]

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