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Republic of South Sudan

South Sudan joined the East African Community in April 2016.

South Sudan is the newest member of the East African Community, it is also referred to as the youngest nation in Africa after gaining independence on 9 July 2011.

 

Key facts

Joined EAC: April 2016

Population: 12.3 million

GDP (nominal): US$ 2.6 Billion

Official language: English

Timezone: GMT + 3hr

Currency: South Sudanese Pound (SSP)

 

Geography

Area: 619,745 sq. km

Coastline: none

Capital city: Juba

Population density (per sq. km): 13.33

South Sudan is bordered by Sudan to the north, Ethiopia to the east, Kenya to the southeast, Uganda to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, and the Central African Republic to the west. It includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd, formed by the White Nile and known locally as the Bahr al Jabal.


Languages

English is the official languages; while Arabic (of Juba and Sudanese variants) and other languages such as Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk are widely spoken.

 

Communications

Country code 211; internet domain ‘.ss’.


Public holidays

New Year's Day, Peace Agreement Day (9 January), Easter Sunday, International Labour Day (1 May), SPLA Day (16 May), Independence Day (9 July), Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan), Martyrs’ Day (30 July), Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Republic Day (28 December).

Religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday, Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha.


Transport

South Sudan has 248 km of narrow-gauge, single-track railroad.

The busiest and most developed airport in South Sudan is Juba Airport. Other international airports include Malakal, Wau, and Rumbe.

 

International relations

South Sudan is a United Nations member state, a member state of the African Union and of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. In July 2012, South Sudan signed the Geneva Conventions. South Sudan has also applied to join the Commonwealth of Nations, considering that it was part of the British Empire, and has 2 Commonwealth Republics, Kenya and Uganda as neighbouring states.


Topography

The Imatong Mountains are located in the southeast of South Sudan in the erstwhile state of Eastern Equatoria, and extend into Uganda. Mount Kinyeti is the highest mountain of the range at 3,187 metres and the highest in the whole of South Sudan. The range has an equatorial climate and has dense forests supporting diverse wildlife.
The Sudd is a vast swamp in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile, comprising more than 15% of the country's total area; it is one of the world's largest wetlands.


Climate

South Sudan has a climate similar to an Equatorial or tropical climate, characterized by a rainy season of high humidity and large amounts of rainfall followed by a drier season. The temperature on average is always high with July being the coolest month with an average temperatures falling between 20 and 30 °C and March being the warmest month with average temperatures ranging from 23 to 37 °C.


Environment

The most significant environmental issue is soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands as well as deforestation due to little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel. In addition, habitat loss threatens wildlife populations.


Vegetation

South Sudan’s main vegetational belts run in succession from northwest to southeast, more or less in coincidence with rainfall patterns. They are low-rainfall savanna (grassland), high-rainfall savanna, both with inland floodplains, and mountain vegetation regions.


Wildlife

The country’s wildlife includes lions, leopards, and cheetahs as well as elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, hippopotamuses, warthogs, and numerous varieties of antelope, such as gazelles, elands, and hartebeests. Chimpanzees, baboons, and monkeys are found in the forests. Birdlife includes ostriches, several kinds of partridge, cranes, storks, pelicans, plovers, weavers, and shrikes. Reptiles include crocodiles and various lizards.

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