Portal:South Sudan

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South Sudan

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South Sudan (Listeni/ˌsθ sˈdæn/ or /sˈdɑːn/), officially the Republic of South Sudan, previously known as Southern Sudan, is a landlocked country in east-central Africa. It is also part of the Eastern Africa UN subregion. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more centrally located Ramciel in the future. South Sudan is bordered by Ethiopia to the east, Kenya to the southeast, Uganda to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, the Central African Republic to the west, and Sudan to the north. South Sudan includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd formed by the White Nile, locally called the Bahr al Jabal.

The modern states of South Sudan and Sudan were part of Egypt under the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, later being governed as an Anglo-Egyptian condominium until Sudanese independence was achieved in 1956. Following the First Sudanese Civil War, the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was formed in 1972 and lasted until 1983. A second Sudanese civil war soon developed and ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. Later that year, southern autonomy was restored when an Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan was formed.

South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote. It is a United Nations member state, a member state of the African Union, and a member state of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. In July 2012, South Sudan signed the Geneva Conventions.
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Mount Kinyeti
Credit: AIMikhin

Panoramic from the top of Mount Kinyeti

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Nilotic peoples or Nilotes refers to related ethnic groups mainly inhabiting the Nile Valley, the African Great Lakes region, and southwestern Ethiopia, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of the Nilo-Saharan languages. These include the Kalenjin, Luo, Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Ateker and the Maa-speaking peoples, all of which are clusters of several ethnic groups.

Nilotes form the majority of the population in South Sudan, an area that is believed to be their original point of dispersal. They also today constitute the second-largest group of peoples inhabiting the African Great Lakes region (after the Bantu peoples), with a notable presence in southwestern Ethiopia as well.

Most Nilotes practice pastoralism, and many are also known for a tradition of cattle rustling. As with some Bantu groups, Nilotes in East Africa have through interaction adopted many customs and practices from neighboring Southern Cushitic groups. The latter include the age set system of social organization, circumcision, and vocabulary terms.

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Southern Sudanese voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Sudan in January 2011, with 98.83% of voters reportedly preferring to split from the North. On 9 July 2011, South Sudan became an independent state, with Kiir as its first president. Kiir positioned himself as a reformer, using his inaugural address to call for the South Sudanese people "to forgive, though we shall not forget" perceived injustices at the hands of the northern Sudanese over the preceding decades and announce a general amnesty for South Sudanese groups that had warred against the SPLM in the past. A few weeks later, he publicly addressed members of the military and police to warn them that rape, torture, and other human rights violations carried out by armed personnel would be considered criminal acts and prosecuted aggressively by the Ministry of Justice.

Kiir faced the first real crisis in his presidency of the Republic of South Sudan in early August 2011, when clashes over cattle erupted between Lou Nuer and Murle people in Jonglei and Warrap states, leaving over 600 dead. Kiir ordered the army to deploy to the unrest-hit areas to quell the violence, and the South Sudanese government claimed the next day that fighting had ended.

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