The Republic of South Sudan, Independence for the Republic of South Sudan, capital city of the Republic of South Sudan, Juba, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, Vice President Riek Machar Teny of the Republic of South Sudan,
Saturday the ninth of July 2011 saw the birth of a brand new nation on the African Continent, when the Republic of South Sudan celebrated Independence Day just six months after 98% of it's people elected secession following half a century of civil war and autonomous rule.
The Republic of South Sudan, as it's name suggests, is located in the southernmost region of the African continent's largest country of Sudan.
This east African region, which has seen thirty six years of bloody, civil war in order to gain it's independence from the Republic of Sudan, has been an autonomous state since January 2005, after the signing of a peace agreement between the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army and the Government of Sudan at the end of the second Sudanese Civil War - Africa's longest running civil conflict from 1983 - 2005.
Sudan's first civil war was from 1955 - 1972 and culminated in the deaths of 2.5 million people and the external displacement of another five million of it's people.
The new nation is a land locked country bordered by Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Sudan which covers an area of 239,285 sq miles ( 619,745 sq km) and consists of the three regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile. These three regions are further divided into ten states which have been further divided into 86 counties.
The Republic of South Sudan's capital city is Juba, situated in Central Equatoria, a former large river port situated on the banks of the River White Nile, which has a population of around 250,000 people.
Due to the civil war which decimated the country's infrastructure, the city has had to undergo a massive urban rejuvenation programme with the building of a new business district, an international railway and rail terminus and the Juba Airport (JUB / HSSJ) home of the country's flag carrier, Feeder Airlines.
Other developing, major cities in the country are Wau in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Malakal in Upper Nile state.
The flag of the Republic of South Sudan.
The new nation has a population of around nine million people made up of around 200 ethnic groups, with the largest two bodies of people being of the Dinka and Nuer ethnicities.
Although the lingua franca of the Republic of Sudan is Arabic, the official language of the new nation will be English, although most of it's people speak local tribal languages derived from the Nilotic family of languages, of which there are around two hundred spoken in the country.
Seventy per cent of the Republic of Sudan are of the Islamic faith, but a large per centage of the new nation has a predominance towards Christianity or Animist (local tribal) religions.
Ariel view of Juba, capital city of the Republic of South Sudan.
The new nation has thriving petroleum, iron ore and timber industries,vast mineral reserves and is home to the largest teak plantation in Africa. Many of these industries have garnered the backing of foreign investors,bringing much needed employment and revenue to the country, although aid agencies have stated that most of the country's population make their living from subsistance farming of peanuts, fruit and cotton and believe that 90% of the populace live on less than a dollar a day.
There is also scope for the country to tap into tourism as an ongoing industry due to the location of many conservation areas and the finding of a mass, animal migration path through the country, which includes The Borna National Park, The Bahr al Jabal (The Sudd) swamp, the Zefah Game Reserve and the Bahr el Zeraf wetlands, all of which host a myriad of big game animals, several species of antelope, birdlife, monkeys, flora, fauna and forestry.
Image courtesy of Jenny Rocket, wikimedia commons.
Salva Kiir Mayardit, first President of the Republic of South Sudan.
The Republic of South Sudan's government has a unicarmel, legislative assembly with a president at it's head. The country's president is Salva Kiir Mayardit, who has led the country since the death of it's very first president, politician and rebel leader, John Garang de Mabior in an air crash five months into his presidency in July 2005.
The country's vice - president is Riek Machar Teny, all three of which were members of the rebel, Sudan Peoples Liberation Army before becoming involved in the government of the new autonomous republic.
The new country and it's government is recognised by all five permanent members of the U.N Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK + USA) as well as thirty four other recognised nations, four unrecognised nations and all fifty four members of the African Union.Only the three nations of Eritrea, Iran and Libya have problems accepting the new nation.
Several foreign nations have pledged governmental offices in the form of embassies or consulates in the country's capital of Juba and It is assured that United Nations membership is a certainty for the new republic.
One of the biggest problems facing the new government is the integration and placement of internally displaced people and returning refugees, of which the country has already had two million since 2005 and another 1.5 million are expected back into their homeland after Independence Day.
Some of the problems faced by the new government is supplying homes to thousands of former land owners who have lost businesses, property and land due to the war and finding employment for thousands of people who have lived abroad and now no longer read, write, speak or understand English.
Due to the civil unrest in the country, the healthcare of the masses, many of which are displaced or transient, is very poor, with the whole country only having three hospitals and a ratio of one doctor to every 500,000 of the populace.
Infant mortality is 112 in every 1,000 live births and maternal mortality is the highest in the world with 2,000 per 100,000 live births.
Since 2005 several world organisations have set up recovery, development and humanitarian projects throughout the country in order to help it's people get back on their feet, although with the nearing of independence, these aid groups have now become few and far between.
These proud and resolute people, who have suffered so much for the price of their long awaited freedom, will give birth to a new nation at a time when the country is seeing it's worse drought for sixty years, where people still live in fear of reprisals from a still heavy military presence by it's northern neighbour, will endure crippling poverty and have little in the way of social, medical or educational amenities, but despite this, the people have learnt the words of their new national anthem with pride, because in doing so, has meant that they can all now sing together as one, free nation.
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN.
REGIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
Bahr el Ghazal
Western Bahr el Ghazal - Capital Wau.
Northern Bahr el Ghazal - Capital Aweil.
Warrap - Capital Kuajok.
Lakes - Capital Rumbek.
Eastern Equatoria - Capital Torit.
Central Equatoria - Capital Juba.
Western Equatoria - Capital Yambio.
Jonglei - Capital Bortown.
Unity - Capital Bentiu.
Upper Nile - Capital Malakal.
Currency - Sudanese Pound
UTC - +3
Int TLD - .sd
Calling Code - 249