South Sudan

South Sudan

Facts & figures

Full name: Republic of South Sudan

Population: 7.5-9.7 million (UN estimate, 2006)

Capital: Juba

Area: 619,745 sq km (239,285 sq miles)

Major languages: English, Arabic (both official), Juba Arabic, Dinka, others

Major religions: Traditional religions, Christianity

Life expectancy: N/A

Monetary unit: Sudanese pound

Main exports: Oil

GNI per capita: N/A

Internet domain: .sd (as part of Sudan)

International dialling code: +249


Map



 

Leader

 

Salva Kiir Mayardit became president of South Sudan - then still part of Sudan - and head of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in 2005, succeeding long-time rebel leader John Garang, who died in a helicopter crash.



Travel


Visa & travel advice

  1. Your physical passport. Passport must be valid for at least 180 days from date of arrival in South Sudan.
  2. An application (click here) completely filled out and signed by the applicant. Please note that Applications printed on both sides of the paper will not be accepted, and visa will not processed until it is replaced.
  3. Two (2) passport sized photo (2 inch by 2 inch).
  4. An Official LETTER FROM YOUR ORGANIZATION AND OR AN Invitation letter addressed to embassy of South Sudan from your organization in south sudan explaining the purpose of your travel.
  5. A money order payable to "The Embassy of the republic of South Sudan". Please consult the below Visa schedule fee for the correct fee for your application.
  6. A self-addressed return envelope (UPS, USPS, FedEx...) with sufficient prepaid postage for those using mail services.
  • Best period:

Eid Al-Fitr occurs right after Ramadan; that is probably the best time to go to South Sudan to enjoy music and cultural events.

  • Safety:

With the security situation in South Sudan still fragile, traveling there can be dangerous.

History

The Egyptians conquered Sudan in 1874 and established the province of Equatoria. Islamic Mahdist revolutionaries entered the territory in 1885, but British troops defeated the invaders and took over Sudan in 1898. (Britain had occupied Egypt since 1882.) Britain and Egypt ruled the country in conjunction as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. In the early 20th century, Christian missionaries converted a large segment of the population and introduced English to the region. The result was a clearly defined line between the Arab north and the black African animists and Christians in the south.

Egypt and Britain ruled Sudan until 1953, when Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was granted Sudan self-government. In 1955, army officers in the south mutinied, sparking a civil war between the north and south. Southerners accused the government, based in the north, of trying to force Islamic and Arab culture on the south. In addition, the south said the government reneged on promises to grant the south more autonomy through a federal system of government. Independence was proclaimed on Jan. 1, 1956, and the civil war dragged on until the 1972 signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement. About 500,000 people died in the war. Under the accord, the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was formed.

War broke out again in 1983 when President Gaafar Mohamed Nimeiri abrogated the treaty and declared all of Sudan a Muslim state, ruled by shariah, or Islamic law. In response, southern rebels formed the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and fought the government for more than two decades. Government troops unleashed vicious massacres against civilians and entire villages. The government also provoked internecine violence between tribes and ethnic groups. A cease-fire was declared between the Sudanese government and the SPLA in July 2002. During peace talks, the government agreed to a power-sharing government for six years, to be followed by a referendum on self-determination for the south. Fighting on both sides continued throughout the peace negotiations.

Arts & Culture

  • Music:

Sudan has a rich and unique musical culture that has been through chronic instability and repression during the modern history of Sudan.

Beginning with the imposition of strict sharia law in 1989, many of the country's most prominent musicians and poets, like poet Mahjoub Sharif, were imprisoned while others, like Mohammed el Amin and Mohammed Wardi, fled to Cairo (Mohammed el amin returned to Sudan in 1991 and Mohammed Wardi returned to Sudan in 2003). Traditional music suffered too, with traditional Zār ceremonies being interrupted and drums confiscated. At the same time, however, the European militaries contributed to the development of Sudanese music by introducing new instruments and styles; military bands, especially the Scottish bagpipes, were renowned, and set traditional music to military march music. The march March Shulkawi No 1, is an example, set to the sounds of the Shilluk. Sudan is very diverse, with five hundred plus ethnic groups spread across the country's territory, which is the largest in Africa. The country has been a crossroads between North, East and West Africa for hundreds of years, and is inhabited by a mixture of Sub-Saharan Arabs and Africans.

  • Literature:

Literature today is largely written in the Arabic language, but certain genres also in other local languages, such as poetry in the Fur language. Both written literature, and oral tradition, such as folklore are found. At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a trend of transcribing spoken tales.

Among the types of stories from oral tradition are the "Ahaji" tales and the "Madih", or praise tales. The first kind generally have a mythological character, El-Nour writes that, "they invariably have happy endings and are full of fanciful scenes and superstitions that describe the magic powers of genies and ogres". The second kind of tales have a more religious overtone, relating to praising Muhammad, and are generally more popular in the north of the country.

  • Film industry:

The film industry in South Sudan is still at a minor level. After the country became independent on 9 July 2011, some of the film enthusiasts joined together and set up an office in the country's capital Juba. As of December 2011, they have 70 members. The industry is also called Woyee Film and Theatre Industry.

  • Famous places:

If you wish to see a lot of travelling camels, then it’s time to visit the important transportation hub of Sudan: Al Ubayyid. It’s the capital of the North Kurdufan State of Central Sudan and it’s the terminus of a rail line.

As people often expect nothing but dusty desert lands in Africa, including Sudan, in Gedaref it’s quite different. Dominated by a lush green environment, Gedaref is another African wonder to explore. Parts of it are still surrounded by plain but healthy deserts.

 

  • Architecture history:

Architecture is varied, and reflects regional climatic and cultural differences. In the northern desert regions, houses are thick-walled mud structures with flat roofs and elaborately decorated doorways (reflecting Arabic influence). In much of the country, houses are made of baked bricks and are surrounded by courtyards. In the south, typical houses are round straw huts with conical roofs, called ghotiya. Nomads, who live throughout Sudan, sleep in tents. The style and material of the tents vary, depending on the tribe; the Rashiaida, for example, use goat hair, whereas the Hadendowa weave their homes from palm fiber.

 

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