The Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) officially became a new country on July 9, 2011 and a member state of the United Nations on July 14, 2011.  RoSS is a parlimentary system with President Salva Kiir as the head of state and government.

What is the Capital?

Juba is the capital and is located on the Nile River in the southeast section of the country.

What was the January referendum?

In January, 2011 98.8% of the voters of southern Sudan voted to secede from the north and form an independent country.

Geographically how large is the RoSS?

It is approximately 650,000 square kilometers - equivalent to almost twice the size of Germany or the US state of Texas.

How many people live in RoSS?

Approximately 10 million


What language is spoken?

English is the official language, butArabic is widely spoken, in addition to over 40 local languages.


What challenges face RoSS?

The ongoing conflict, which began on 15 December 2013, has killed tens of thousands, displaced well over a million and leaves the country on the brink of famine.  Even before the war broke out, South Sudan was already one of the least developed countries in the world.  Some statistics tell part of the story:

More than one million primary school children have no access to basic education.

1 out of 7 women will die from pregnancy; only 10% of all deliveries are attended by a skilled health practitioner

1 out of 5 cildren die before their fifth birthday

A 15 year old girl has a higher chance of dying in childbirth than completing high school

92% of women are illiterate

6.4 % of people have access to proper sanitation facilities

Is Sudan the same as Darfur?

No, Darfur collectively refers to four states in the Republic of Sudan: Northern Darfur, Western Darfur, Eastern Darfur and Southern Darfur.  These states form the western border of the country of Sudan.  Darfur is not part of the RoSS. 


Who are the "lost boys" of Sudan?

They are the boys and girls who escaped when Sudanese government troops and militias systematically attacked and destroyed their villages during the civil war from 1985 to 2005.  Thousands fled on foot to Ethiopia and Kenya, a journey of 1000 miles; half died.  In 2001, 3800 boys were resettled in the United States.  The program was discontinued after 9/11 and restarted in 2004.



1899-1955 - South Sudan is part of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, under joint British-Egyptian rule.

1955 - First civil war breaks out between Sudan government and South Sudanese rebels, Anya Nya One

1956 - Sudan gains independence from joint British-Egyptian rule

1972 - Government of Sudan President Jaafar Nimeiri concedes a measure of autonomy for southern Sudan in Addis Ababa Peace Agreement

1978 - Oil discovered in Unity State in southern Sudan

1983 - Second civil war between Sudan Government in the north and south Sudan rebels, under leadership of John Garang's Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), after Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiri abrogates Addis Ababa Agreement

June 1989 – Military officers led by Omar Hassan Al Bashir seize power in a coup

2002 – SPLM/A and Sudan Government start peace talks

Jan 2005 - North-south peace deal, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ends civil war

Aug 2005 - South Sudanese leader John Garang is killed in a plane crash and is succeeded by Salva Kiir Mayardiit

January 2011 - The people of South Sudan vote in favour of full independence from Sudan

9 July 2011 - New state born – South Sudan becomes the world’s newest nation

July 2013 - President Kiir dismisses entire cabinet and Vice-President Riek Machar in a power struggle within the governing SPLM

December 2013 - Civil war erupts as President Salva Kiir accuses his ex-vice-president, Riek Machar, of plotting to overthrow him

Rebel factions seize control of several regional towns, thousands are killed and many more flee. Uganda troops intervene on the government's side. Foreigners are evacuated

January 2014 - A ceasefire is signed but broken several times over subsequent weeks, and further talks in February fail to end the violence that displaces more than a million people by April

September 2014 - Peace talks continue with little progress as famine looms, threatening half of the population.  The conflict has displaced well over one million civilians and led to the death of tens of thousands

August 2015 - In spite of extensive efforts by many third parties, the conflict between the government and rebel forces continues

October 2018 - Under pressure from governments in East Africa and from United Nations and Western donors rebel factions and the government last month signed a peace deal.  There have been sporadic incidences of fighting since the latest agreement was signed, but violence has largely died down.

President Salva Kiir hosted Wednesday’s ceremony near the mausoleum of national hero John Garang - the same spot where the country celebrated its independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of north-south war fueled by oil, ethnicity and religion.

Leaders from Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Somalia looked on as traditional dancers entertained the crowds.