• 110

    judges administer justice across South Sudan

  • 5500

    new police officers, including 400 women, have been trained with UNDP support

  • 27%

    of adults are literate

  • 16%

    of women are literate

  • 80%

    of South Sudanese use customary rather than formal justice mechanisms

  • 42%

    of civil servants have no more than primary school education

  • 25%

    of people are estimated to have access to health services

  • 34%

    of all seats in the South Sudan Legislative Assembly are held by women

About South Sudan

Recent History

 referendum celebrations
(Photo: UNDP)

Modern Sudan emerged during the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium (1898-1955). During this time, Britain and Egypt occupied Sudan, with separate administrative arrangements for the north and south. Sudan became independent at the beginning of 1956 and faced long civil wars in the decades that followed. Between 1955 and 2005, northern and South Sudan experienced conflict and war for all but a few years.


On 9 January 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed by the leaders of the north and south. It granted partial-autonomy to Southerners, and a new Interim Constitution. Under the terms of the peace, the SPLM leader John Garang became the First Vice-President of the Republic of Sudan, and President of the Government of South Sudan. Barely three weeks after being sworn into office in July 2005, John Garang died in an aircraft accident. He was succeeded by Salva Kiir Mayardit.

referendum celebrations

On 9 January 2011, Southerners voted on whether to become an independent nation or to remain part of greater Sudan. This referendum was provided for by the peace agreement, and Southers opted to separate from the north by more than 98 percent of the vote. Six months later, on 9 July, the Republic of South Sudan was born.



South Sudan is comprised of 10 states: Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, Western Bahr El Ghazal and Western Equatoria. South Sudan borders the Central African Republic in the west, Ethiopia in the east, Sudan in the north, and Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo to its south.

Nature and Resources

South Sudan is largely open plains, marked by hilly regions and thick equatorial vegetation.  The Nile River is a major natural feature of the South Sudan. It traverses the country and flows through some of its regional centres, including the capital city, Juba. It facilitates trade, administration and urbanization in some rural areas.


South Sudan holds other natural resources including oil, gold, silver, iron ore and copper, and many more. The country’s large fertile lands have produced cassava, groundnuts, sweet potato, sorghum, sesame, maize, rice, finger millet, cowpea and beans. They are also the site of one of the world’s largest animal migrations each year.

South Sudan has an equatorial climate, with high humidity and plenty of rainfall. The rainy season varies from region to region but generally falls between April and November. January and February are marked by their stifling heat and empty skies.


south sudan flag
south sudan map
Statistics (estimates)
9 million
Land area
640,000 km2
Highest altitude
approximately 2,000 metres above sea level