Republic of South Sudan
Capital | Juba
Population | estimate 7.5 – 9.7 million (2006, United Nations Populations Fund / UNFPA)
Area | 619,745 KM / 239,285 SQ MI
Official Language | English
President | Salva Kiir Mayardit
Government | President Salva Kiir will inaugurate a new constitution on July 9, 2011, the day of independence. The new constitution will serve as the interim constitution of the new Republic of South Sudan for about four years (the length of President Kiir’s first term), until a permanent constitution is unveiled at a national conference of eminent people and ordinary citizens.
According to the new constitution; the new country will be called the Republic of South Sudan, The country will have its own coat of arms, a national flag, a national motto, Central Bank, its own currency and national anthem.
The new Constitution also says the Republic of South Sudan will have its own national army, called the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and its own president, who will be the commander-in-chief of all security forces, including the SPLA, police, prisons and other government agencies.
Currency | The National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) reached an agreement in March of 2011 giving the south a green light to issue its own national currency after the January 2011 Southern Sudan referendum on self-determination produced a landslide vote in favor of secession from the rest of the country.
The currency will be issued in six denominations ranging from one pound to 100, and four different coins will have values of one, five, 25 and 50 piastres.
The South Sudan pound will feature the visage of the late SPLM founder John Garang de Mabior on the front of the bank note. A variety of well-known landmarks like the White Nile River and illustrations depicting some of the new country’s natural resources will adorn the back.
Time Zone | UTC + 3
Calling Code | 249
Challenges | Most Southern Sudanese live on less than 1US dollar a day. They have very little access to education, medical care, sufficient food, electricity and clean water. Most have had their lives severely disrupted by more than three decades of civil war and have had to stop and restart their lives – possibly multiple times. Southern Sudanese will have to learn and, for some to relearn, how to engage in agriculture, commerce and a “normal” lifestyle.
There are only about 100 miles of paved roads in Southern Sudan – a territory about the size of France.
The finalization of borders between Sudan and South Sudan and the distribution of oil revenues between those countries, as well as inter-ethnic fighting have caused more than 2,000 deaths in the months of April, May and June of 2011 in the Abyei region and Sothern Kordofan state.
South Sudan is situated in the middle of a highly volatile region that includes its new neighbor of northern Sudan as well as unstable states such as the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Surprises | Surveys done by the Wildlife Conservation Society since 2007 uncovered one of the largest animal migrations in South Sudan and suggest the scale may exceed that of Tanzania’s Serengeti.
NEWS ABOUT THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
Sudan/South Sudan: A Tale of Two Neighbors
(HN, 4/3/12) - The top UN human rights official Navi Pillay has said that Sudan's indiscriminate bombing raids have resulted in civilian casualties in South Sudan & urged the 2 countries' governments to halt the escalating violence along their border areas where civilians are in South Sudan, including in Mayom & Bentiu in Unity State & in Warrap; resulting in the deaths of at least 8 & injuring 22 in attacks since Saturday. She also voiced alarm at South Sudan's "unwarranted occupation" of the oil-producing region of Heglig in Sudan's South Kordofan state, as well as over reports of a dramatic build-up in the number of northern militia in the disputed Abyei area the past few days.
Ms. Pillay supported the call by UNSG Ban Ki-moon to convene a planned presidential summit of the 2 countries as soon as possible & to renew a commitment, from both sides to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which formally ended 22 years of civil war between the neighbors. The head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Ms. Hilde Johnson, echoed Ms. Pillay's comments. Meanwhile aid agencies are struggling to keep up with the food & water needs of over 37,000 people in Jamam refugee camp fleeing violence across the border in Sudan's Blue Nile State. Oxfam, CARE, MSF, IOM, & UNHCR among others are all working in the area where it's said many people have diarrhea, & are eating tree leaves to survive. The UN & international agencies have warned of impending famine. (Read more at AllAfrica)