About South Sudan
Modern Sudan emerged during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium(1898-1955). During this time, Britain and Egypt occupied Sudan, with separate administrative arrangements for the north and south. Sudan became independent at the beginning of 1956 and faced long civil wars in the decades that followed. Between 1955 and 2005, northern and South Sudan experienced conflict and war for all but a few years.
On 9 January 2005, the leaders of the North and South Sudan signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). It granted partial- autonomy to Southerners, and a new Interim Constitution was developed and put in place. Under the terms of the peace, the SPLM/A leader John Garang became the First Vice-President of the Republic of Sudan, and President of the Government of Southern Sudan. Barely three weeks after being sworn into office in July 2005, John Garang died in an aircraft accident. Following the incident, SPLM/A leaders sat, nominated and installed Salva Kiir Mayardit as leader of SPLM/A and president of the Government of Southern Sudan – GoSS.
Referendum and Independence
South Sudan became the world’s youngest nation on July 9, 2011 after a referendum that led to the breaks away from the Arab and Muslim dominated North Sudan. But, “Following the heady days of independence, ceremonies and gestures of goodwill buffered the new country for some times. Development projects and money flooded into the country to repair the damage of decades of civil wars. Focus shifted to supporting the new government “ However, within six months of its birth, violence flared up again internally, most notably in “Jonglei and Lakes States” where ethnic groups pitted against each other in a conflict that has its roots in history but was raised to a new level with the easy availability of small arms and the heightened stakes of independence.
Development in South Sudan was and is still seen as key to the:
improvement of livelihoods amongst communities that have been engaged in more than 30 years of civil wars. With a Population of about 12 millions people, South Sudan remains one of the least developed nations in the world with no or few infrastructures such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and accommodation; exposing the majority of the population to low standards of living and livelihoods. In South Sudan, the memories of crimes committed during the years of civil wars are still fresh. These bitter memories were worsen by December 15, 2013 incident that claimed ten of thousands lives and displaced over 2 millions people and forced over 500,000 people as refugees in East African countries (Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda).
The recently signed 2015 “Compromise Peace Agreement – CPA-II” raised hope for possible reconciliation between the communities and the warring parties are expected to open up wider and conducive political space for increased citizen participation in decision-making mechanism, justice, rule of law and development.
South Sudan’s developmental and infrastructural background
South Sudan has the dubious distinction of having some of the worst development indictors in the world. It needs basic development in all aspects including physical infrastructures, health, food, security, stability, shelter and technology.
Inaccessibility of conflict-affected areas is quite a challenge. Thus there is all the more need to fast-track operations from emergency to recovery; from relief and finally development. The need for demining explosive remnants of conflict that contaminates roads, towns, and agricultural areas is paramount. The population needs to be equipped participation in nation rebuilding to control environmental factors caused by flooding during wet seasons and loss of livestock and hunger gap during the dry season. In a state of conflict, complex protocols are required for relief and humanitarian access to civilians in need. The logistical environment is very difficult with urgent need for infrastructure upgrades. Improvements in roads access during the dry season risk being offset by increasing insecurity and checkpoints.
Key facts on South Sudan:
1. Total population of about 12 millions people
2. 51% of the population live below the poverty line
3. 25% of people are estimated to have access to health services
4. 50.8% of the country population is classified as malnourished
5. 27% of adults are literate; net attendance rates in schools is 40%
6. 16% of women are literate
7. 42% of civil servants have no more than primary school education
8. 80% of South Sudanese use customary rather than formal justice mechanisms
9. Total fertility rate is estimated at 6.7%;
10. Annual population growth rate is 2.2%; and average life expectancy is 42 years of age.
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