Sudan is in north-eastern Africa, the largest country in Africa and the 10th largest country in the world. The country is about 1/3 the size of the United States and borders nine other African countries. Sudan was divided racially and culturally with the Arab Muslims in the North, and African Indigenous Christians in the South. The country has seen a regular turnover of governments but most have been military regimes controlled by the Arab-Muslim governments in the north. Since Sudan’s independence from joint British-Egyptian administration in 1956, the country has been shocked by the civil war, famine and genocide. Sudan’s first civil war began shortly after independence and continued until 1972. Eleven years of relative calm ended in 1983 when a new war broke out, between the South and the North, continued for over twenty-one years and officially ended in 2005. This war was claimed to be one of the longest Civil Wars on record, with more than four million in the South displaced to refugee camps, and over two million died from famine and diseases caused by the conflict. According to the United Nation, the civilians’ death toll recorded was one of the highest of any war since world war II.
A Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed on January 9th 2005, which ended the long years of fighting and suffering, and granted the Southern part of the country a self-rule for 6 years. A referendum on the South Sudan’s political future was scheduled and held in January 2011, which bring about the independence and the birth of a new nation, the Republic of South Sudan, inaugurated on July 9th 2011.
Consistently, South Sudan ranks amongst the lowest on all quality of life indicators. It has a very high incidence of all tropical and infectious diseases and suffers from an extreme lack of water and frequent droughts. The country has been very negatively affected by the civil war, resulting in serious abandonment, lack of infrastructure development, and a major destruction and displacement.
The lack of investment due to many years of war in South Sudan also resulted, in what international humanitarian organizations call a lost generation, who lack educational opportunities, access to basic health care services, and little by way of prospects for productive employment in the small and weak economies of the South. The actual income for many families is estimated to be less than $1 a day.
Since the independence in 2011, South Sudan has tried to settle and embark on development. Unfortunately, the nation slipped back into war in 2013, devastated by brutal clashes between the government and the opposition. The country is now working to bring peace and embarking on the major task of rebuilding the nation.