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Area Codes in South Sudan

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South Sudan became an independent state on July 9, 2011 when Sudan was split into a northern and a southern part. The split was preceded by a dramatic referendum that led to the historic change of Africa's map. The hope of a better life that the inhabitants wore after decades of war against northern Sudan was soon shattered. The time after independence has been marked by power struggles and civil war. Although the country has plenty of oil, the majority lives in severe poverty.
  • Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of South Sudan, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.

Geography and climate

Most of South Sudan is made up of a vast lowland, which in the southeast turns into higher mountains. The White Nile and Suddträsken characterize the landscape. The terrain consists of savannah or marshland in the lowlands and rainforest in the mountain areas. South Sudan has a tropical climate with high temperature and humidity.

The White Nile is one of the main branches of the world's longest river Nile. It flows into the country from Uganda to the south and continues north through the capital Juba. To the north, the White Nile branches into a very papyrus swamp, called Sudd, which dominates the central part of the country. Sudd covers almost one-sixth of the country's surface and is one of the world's largest wetlands. Western South Sudan is a plateau area.

South Sudan is almost one and a half times the size of Sweden, but its borders are not fully established. Historically, there has been no marked boundary between northern and southern Sudan. Livestock nomads have freely driven their herds across the border area since ancient times, depending on the season and water supply for the animals.

Geography and climate of South Sudan

The temperature in the lowlands oscillates between 23 and 34 degrees. It is warmer in the lowlands than up in the mountains in the southeast, where the temperature can fall below 20 degrees.

The rainy season falls between April and October while there is hardly any rainfall at all in December and January. It rains most in the mountains while the rainfall decreases further north. On average, it rains around 1,500 mm per year.

FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Surface

620 000 km2 (2018) 1

Time

Swedish +2 hours

Adjacent country (s)

Sudan, Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia

Capital with number of inhabitants

Juba ca 403 200 (with suburbs; UN estimate) (2020) 2

Other major cities

Wow, Malakal

Highest mountain

Jabal Kinyeti (3,187 m asl)

Important rivers

The White Nile

Average Precipitation / year

about 1,500 mm

Average / day

23–34 °C throughout the year

  1. border crossing towards Sudan is partly unclear
    2. government announced in 2011 that the capital should be gradually moved to Ramciel in central South SudanSources

2013

December

Thousands dead and tens of thousands on the run

On Monday Christmas, Kenya's President and Ethiopian Prime Minister will come to Juba in an attempt to mediate. At the same time, the UN estimates that at least 90,000 people have become homeless in the past ten days and that 58,000 of them have sought protection at UN shelters. The number of dead in the fighting is vague in the word "thousands".

The UN force almost doubles

The Security Council approves the extension of UNmiss (UN mission in South Sudan) by close to 6,000 soldiers.

Hard fighting in Unity and Upper Nile

After a few days, the army states that it has taken back Bor but lost control of two other state capitals: Bentiu in oil-rich Unity and Malakal in the Upper Nile. Both cities are reported during the Christmas season of hard fighting.

The outside world is reacting to the civil war

Foreigners are trying to leave the country. The United States and the United Kingdom send aircraft to evacuate their citizens. Four American soldiers are injured when their aircraft is shot during an evacuation effort in Bor. Four neighboring countries send their foreign ministers to Juba to try to mediate. President Kiir says he is willing to negotiate with Machar. Two Indian UN soldiers and at least eleven civilians from the Dinka group are killed when youth from the Nuer people storm a UN base in Jonglei.

The battles spread to other places

The rebel soldiers are reported to have taken control of the state of Jonglei's "capital" Bor, about 20 miles north of Juba. The battles are marked by old contradictions between the Dinka and Nuer people groups. The government announces that ten people have been arrested, including seven former ministers. Machar, who is wanted by the army, denies that this is a coup attempt.

Struggles erupt in the capital

Struggles break out in Juba between rival groups of government soldiers. President Kiir says the fighting has been launched by soldiers loyal to Machar and describes it all as an attempt at a coup d'état. According to the UN, at least 450 people were killed during the first 24 hours, including about 100 soldiers. More than 40,000 civilians are seeking protection at UN facilities around the country.

Sharp criticism of President Kiir

A number of prominent politicians in a joint statement accuse President Kiir of acting as a dictator. Among the signatories are the recently dismissed Riek Machar and Pagan Amum (see July 2013). A former Minister of Justice, a former Minister of Security and Rebecca Garang, widow of the country's former leader John Garang, are also among the president's critics.

October

Contested referendum in Abyei

The resident Dinka population (with ethnic ties to South Sudan) in Abyei, on its own initiative, is conducting a "referendum" on whether the area should belong to Sudan or South Sudan. The nomadic Arab folk group Misseriya, with bands north, protests against the initiative. Neither government recognizes the referendum, which the AU condemns as "unacceptable and irresponsible". Unsurprisingly, 99 percent of participants want Abyei to join South Sudan.

August

Tens of thousands of fake police officers are discovered

The Ministry of the Interior fears that about half of the national police force does not exist. So far, 11,000 of the police's presumed 52,000 employees have turned out to be false, says the interior minister. Another 16,000 names are under investigation. By getting thousands of non-existent people on the job listings, corrupt officials have been able to seize their salaries. According to the interior minister, the state will save up to the equivalent of SEK 60 million per month by deleting the false names.

New Vice President is appointed

President Kiir nominates President James Wani Igga as new Vice President. The election is later approved by Parliament.

July

New government - without Riek Machar

31 July

President Kiir appoints a new government. Minister of Defense will be Kuol Manyang, who was most recently governor of Jonglei. So far, no new Vice President is named after Riek Machar, who will be without a ministerial post. Neither does SPLM's former secretary general Pagan Amum receive any new assignment.

Destructive mass shootings

President Kiir dismisses the entire government, Vice President Riek Machar, SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum and 17 senior police chiefs. For the time being, experts will take care of the ministry's ongoing affairs. No explanation is given to the mass dismissals.

Regional cooperation for conflict resolution

Experts from the AU and the regional cooperation organization Igad are starting to investigate Sudan's and South Sudan's mutual allegations of support for rebel movements in the neighboring country. They also begin work on trying to push a boundary through the demilitarized buffer zone in Abyei.

The fighting hardens in Jonglei

Large associations of lou nues are reported to have advanced far into areas normally dominated by the rival group murle. According to UN staff, the fighting means that more than 100,000 people cannot be reached by emergency aid.

April

Border crossings should be opened

Sudan and South Sudan agree to open ten border crossings.

Oil recovery is started

After more than a year's rest, oil begins to be recovered in a field in Unity.

Deadly attack on the UN force

Five Indian UN soldiers and seven local civilian personnel linked to the UN force Unmiss are killed in an ambush in Jonglei. It is unclear who is behind the assault.

March

Army offensive in Jonglei

The army is reported to have gone on offensive in the state of Jonglei against rebels belonging to the murle people group, which runs counter to the more government-friendly lou nuer.

January

Journalists are caught

State authorities in Bahr al-Ghazal arrest two reporters at the state radio's local editorial office for not monitoring President Kiir's visit. According to the state government, the president gave a "very, very important speech" in the city of Wau that should have been referenced. The organization Committe to Protect Journalists (CPJ) believes that the arrests are linked to the authorities' attempts to find out who has advised foreign media about the unrest in Wau.

 

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