South Sudan Independence

When Sudan gained its independence from Egypt in 1821, then finally threw off colonial shackles in 1956 on independence from the UK, the south of the country merely replaced one form of outside rule with another.

At the heart of the tensions was the disparity between the people of the north with its Islamic leaning culture and the African Christian south who considered themselves as second class citizens to the dominate north, a role the north was happy to confirm seeing the black Africans as a slave race of whom they were the masters.

The first major war between the north and south ended in 1972 on the signing of the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement which saw the country remaining unified but with the south operating largely autonomously.

Gaafar NimeiryDespite sporadic outbreaks of violence the peace agreement officially held until 1983 when President Gaafar Nimeiry (right) unilaterally modified the treaty and imposed Islamic law across the south.

Within this Islam had to be taught in schools and many in the south saw this as an attempt to eradicate existing culture as in time, future generations would be brought up as Muslims. This second war lasted for two decades, cost the lives of millions and the displacement of many more.

The war ended with the signing of the Nairobi Peace Agreement in 2005 which saw south Sudan restored to its semi-autonomous state together with the promise of a referendum in 2011 on future independence for the south.

The agreement also established that the future boundary of the two countries should be clarified within six months so those voting knew exactly what they were voting for. However, six years later, this has not been achieved, despite the referendum for south Sudan independence going ahead as planned in early 2011 with a 99% majority vote in favour of the split.


South Sudan Independence

South Sudan Independence

South Sudan Independence

South Sudan Independence



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South Sudan Independence

South Sudan was officially recognised as an independent state on 9th July 2011 and was welcomed into the world community as Africa's 55th nation and took its seat at the United Nations. Despite this, the border remains unresolved with the town and region of of Abyei in particular remaining in dispute due, not least, to its oil fields which in 2003 made up one quarter of Sudan's entire output (although this figure has since declined.)

Northern troops patrol the area which was due to hold its own referendum on its future but that referendum has been postponed indefinitely


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