South Sudan

By: Christian Meyer, Nelson Rhea, and Stephen Bavousett

Opening Statement

South Sudan is a country full of many problems. These problems are caused by a lack of a successful government and problems with health.


South Sudan is a country in Eastern Africa. South Sudan is landlocked by countries on all sides, such as Ethiopia to the east, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo from the south, and the Central African Republic to the west. Before Sudan split into separate countries on July 9, 2011, Sudan was the largest country in Africa. South Sudan is split into 10 states which is under three regions of the Sudan: Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Greater Upper Nile. The length of South Sudan’s borders is almost 5,000 kilometers. South Sudan is the home of the Imatong Mountains and Mount Kinyeti. Extensive erosion is the cause of the steep slopes along the sides of Mount Kinyeti. South Sudan is also filled with many natural resources. South Sudan is mostly covered in tropical forest,swamps, and grassland. The main river is the White Nile, which passes through the capital city of Juba.


South Sudan is known to have some of the worst health problems in the world. South Sudan has an under-five infant mortality rate of 135.3 per 1,000, and a maternal mortality at 2,053.9 per 100,000 live births. These are the worst mortality rates in the world. One of the reasons that the health in South Sudan is so bad is that there is a lack of doctors and hospitals. In 2004, there were only 3 surgeons serving in southern sudan, with only 3 hospitals. In some areas, one doctor would have to care of 500,000 people. Another large problem with South Sudan is diseases. Southern Sudan is home to many fatal diseases such as Malaria, typhoid fever, rabies, sleeping sickness, HIV/AIDS, and meningitis. This is largely due to the facts that 85% of the population lives on less than $1 per day. South Sudan’s health problems are also due to the very low literacy rate among it’s people. Only 15% of people living in Southern Sudan can read and write.

Recent History

The separation of Southern Sudan from Sudan was stipulated by a combination of two major factors;

Racial and Religious diversity:

When the British governed Sudan as a colony they administered the northern and southern provinces separately. The south was held to be more similar to the other east-African colonies — Kenya, Tanganyika, and Uganda — while northern Sudan was more similar to Arabic-speaking Egypt. Northern Arabs were prevented from holding positions of power in the Catholic-dominated south, and trade was discouraged between the two areas.
When the British moved towards granting Sudan independence, they failed to consider the south’s needs. Southern Sudanese leaders weren't even invited to negotiations during the transitional period in the 1950's. In the post-colonial government of 1953, the Sudanization Committee only included 6 southern leaders,out of the some 800 available senior administrative positions.

Resource Distribution:

Oil revenues make up about 70% of Sudan (and southern Sudan’s) export earnings. Due to numerous tributaries of the Nile river and heavier precipitation in southern Sudan, the south also has greater access to water, and is therefore much more fertile. The north of the country is on the edge of the Sahara desert. The northern desire to control these resources in 2004 to present, and the southern desire to maintain control of the resources where they live, contributed to the war. A parallel war between the Nuer and Dinka also raged in the south.


South Sudan mainly exports timber and oil. Before their independence, South Sudan produced 85% of Sudanese oil output. Now the oil revenues are split evenly between the two according to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) as long as the agreement is in action. An estimated 98% of the government’s budget comes from the oil revenues. However South Sudan's economy is one of the world's weakest and most underdeveloped. Most villages in the country have no electricity or running water, and its overall infrastructure is lacking with few paved roads anywhere. South Sudan is hoping that its newly-gained independence will help its economy in the upcoming years.

Two Issues

The two biggest issues in South Sudan is the health and government. Not enough people are able to get care for the many disease that Southern Sudan is home to. This leads to a high mortality rate among it's people. The government is run by a president named Salva Kiir Mayardit. This man takes in all of the revenue that the country earns from oil, and does not give it back to the people by building up an infrastructure. These are the two main issues right now in Southern Sudan.

Mr. Harris Period 3 World History 1/28/13