At last South Sudan

South Sudan became a United Nations 193rd member state

Full name: Republic of South Sudan

Population:7.5-9.7 million (UN estimate, 2006)

Capital: Juba

Area:619,745 sq km (239,285 sq miles)

Major languages: English, Arabic (both official), Juba Arabic, Dinka, others

Major religions: Traditional religions, Christianity

President: Salva Kiir Mayardiit

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.

Sudan got its independence from joint British and Egypt in 1956. After that the people in south Sudan felt that the promise undertaken at the time of independence was not fulfilled as having the federal form of government and participation of the south in the government. Due to it, army in south Sudan rebelled against north leading towards civil war. The first Civil War (1956-1972) ended when Addis Ababa Agreement signed in 1972 which promised autonomy for the south.

Hardly the agreement was in force when in 1983 the president of Sudan, Gaafar Nimeiry, declared enforcement of Shaira in the whole Sudan even including the south Sudan. It was the start of the second rebellion in South Sudan because promised-autonomy was withdrawn once again. The civil continued from 1983 to 2005 when Comprehensive Peace Agreement 2005 was signed between Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and government of Sudan aiming at giving south Sudan democratic share and oil revenues. It was also concluded that a referendum would be held in 2011 for its independence.

In 2005 agreement, the government of South Sudan was formed which would administer 10 states of south. Actually it was the first step towards their seeking independence. In 2011, as promised in Peace Agreement 2005 to conduct referendum, it was done and 99 per cent south Sudan sought for separation. North Sudan was the first to recognize it suddenly after its independence. During this period it is widely believed that more than 1.5 million people lost their lives and more than four million displaced. On 14 July 2011, South Sudan became a United Nations 193rd member state.

Now the further issue rises as how to settle the following issues:

    Drawing up the new border

    How to divide Sudan’s debts and oil wealth

    Whether the new country will have its own currency

    What rights southerners will have in the north – and vice versa

    How vigorously the border will be enforced.

Secondly, south Sudan is rich in oil but most of the oil refineries are situated in North Sudan. It will remain a hot and complex issue due to the division of oil resources which was a main motive behind the independence of South Sudan.

If we compare the independence of South Sudan having a Christian country with other Muslim countries seeking their independence we will conclude that America is only the champion of the rights of the Christian and other religions except Islam. One can quote the example of Kashmir; a long issue claimed hundred and thousands lived but how many more lives will be sacrificed only God knows.

A chronology of key events

1899-1955 – South Sudan is part of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, under joint British-Egyptian rule.
1956 – Sudan gains independence from joint British-Egyptian rule.
1962 – Civil war led by the southern separatist Anya Nya movement begins with north.
1969 – Group of socialist and communist Sudanese military officers led by Col Jaafar Muhammad Numeiri seizes power; Col Numeiri outlines policy of autonomy for south.
1972 – Government of Sudanese President Jaafar Numeiri concedes a measure of autonomy for southern Sudan in a peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa.
1978 – Oil discovered in Unity State in southern Sudan.
1983 – Fighting breaks out again between north and south Sudan, under leadership of John Garang’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), after Sudanese President Jaafar Numeiri abolishes South Sudan’s autonomy.
1988 – Democratic Unionist Party – part of Sudan’s ruling coalition government – drafts cease-fire agreement with the SPLM, but it is not implemented.
1989 – Military seizes power in Sudan.
1993 – Revolution Command Council dissolved after Omar Bashir is appointed president of Sudan.
2001 – Sudanese Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi’s party, the Popular National Congress, signs memorandum of understanding with the southern rebel SPLM’s armed wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Al-Turabi is arrested the next day.
2002 – SPLA and Sudanese sign agreement on six-month renewable cease-fire in central Nuba Mountains – a key rebel stronghold.
2005 January – North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ends civil war; deal provides for a permanent ceasefire, autonomy for the south, a power-sharing government involving rebels in Khartoum and a south Sudanese referendum on independence in six years’ time.
2005 July – Former southern rebel leader John Garang is sworn in as first vice-president. A new Sudanese constitution which gives the south a large degree of autonomy is signed.
2005 August – South Sudanese leader John Garang is killed in a plane crash. He is succeeded by Salva Kiir Mayardiit.
2005 September – Power-sharing government is formed in Khartoum.
2005 October – Autonomous government is formed in South Sudan, in line with the January 2005 peace deal. The administration is dominated by former rebels.
2006 November – Hundreds die in fighting centred on the southern town of Malakal – the heaviest between northern Sudanese forces and former rebels since the 2005 peace deal.
2007 October – SPLM temporarily suspends participation in national unity government, accusing Khartoum of failing to honour the 2005 peace deal.
2007 December – SPLM resumes participation in national unity government.
2008 June – Southern Sudanese leader Salva Kiir and Sudanese President Omar Bashir agree to seek international arbitration to resolve dispute over Abyei.
2009 June – Khartoum government denies it is supplying arms to ethnic groups in the south to destabilise the region.
2009 July – North and south Sudan say they accept ruling by arbitration court in The Hague shrinking disputed Abyei region and placing the major Heglig oil field in the north.
2009 December – Leaders of North and South reach deal on terms of referendum on independence due in South by 2011.
2010 January – President Omar Bashir says he would accept referendum result, even if South opted for independence.
2011 January – The people of South Sudan vote in favour of full independence from Sudan.
2011 May – North occupies disputed border region of Abyei.
2011 June – Governments of north and south Sudan sign accord to demilitarize the disputed Abyei region and let in an Ethiopian peacekeeping force.
2011 July 9 – Independence day.

By: Zahid Ashraf


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