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South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. South Sudan is regarded to be the youngest country in the world. The country’s capital is its biggest city, Juba. Before gaining independence, South Sudan had suffered two periods of persistent conflicts whereby the southerners were in constant fight with the Arab Khartoum government leading to the death toll of over two million persons. These deaths were majorly caused by persistent droughts and the lack of food in the borough. Most of the victims were civilians who depended on foreign help. However, the South was given a six-year period of self-rule followed by a referendum on the final status as part of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that was signed in 2005. In 2011, the referendum held led to the country’s independence. This essay explicates the country’s political geographical, population, and migration profile.
Before gaining its independence in 2011, South Sudan was part of the main territory of Sudan involving several provinces to its south. It is found in East-Central Africa to the south of Sudan, north of Kenya and Uganda, west of Ethiopia, and northwest of Democratic Republic of Congo (CIA-US, 2015). South Sudan is a landlocked country, which means that it has no claim to the coastal waters, and thus it depends on countries such as Kenya to import products from the foreign lands.
The current national government in South Sudan is Republic, since the nation involves a political system that does not have people thereby making liberal democracy difficult (CIA-US, 2015). As such, the citizens have liberty to vote freely and justly for their representatives who make and enforce laws on their behalf.
Although there may be no significant international boundary issues between the South Sudan and its neighbors, the country has had several boundary issues since gaining independence. According to the United Nations Development Programme (2015), one of the major boundary issues that the country has had involves oil issues with Sudan. South Sudan contains over 75 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves, but, according to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, South Sudan was given only half of the oil proceeds given that the oil refineries are located in Sudan. However, after gaining independence, the arrangement expired, which meant that South Sudan could no longer receive revenue from the oil proceeds. Consequently, this created military tension between these countries in 2013. There are other border disputes between Sudan and South Sudan including the borough of Nuba Mountains and the region of Abyei in land disputes (CIA-US, 2015).
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South Sudan is not ethnically homogenous, because it has about four major ethnic groups. According to the CIA-US (2015), these groups include the Dinka, which equals approximately 35 percent of the total population, the Nuer, who comprise about 15 percent of the total population, and the Azande, Shilluk, and the Bari, who comprise approximately 5 percent of the total population in South Sudan. The other minor ethnic groups include the Kakwa, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, and Acholi. Notably, boundaries in this newly founded country do not necessarily reflect different ethnic or cultural groups.
South Sudan has a population of approximately 12,042,910 people including those in the diaspora. Notably, there are more males than females in the country, of whom 55.8 percent are children aged 0-14 years and 29.1 percent are people aged 25-54 years (United Nations Development Programme, 2015). The youth aged 15 to 24 comprise only about 19.9 percent of the total population, while those above 55 years are only 5.3 percent. The country’s child birth rate stands at 35.57 births/1,000 population and 8.42 deaths/1,000 population. The country’s infant mortality rate stands at 60 per every 1,000 births as compared with the total fertility rate of 5.01 births per woman with life expectancy at birth projected at 54.64 years. On the other hand, the gross domestic product of the country is $11.8 U.S. dollars and the gross national income of about $20.96 billion PPP dollars (Gambino, Trevelyan, & Fitzwater, 2014).
According to the World Bank (2015), the country’s net migration with reference to the total number of immigrants, less the total number of emigrants per year as in 2011-2015, stands at 865, 000 people. Due to the prevailing situation and the prolonged crises in the country, it has never been in a position to harbor refugees from the other countries. However, it had a large number of internally displaced persons estimated to equal to 1.5 million individuals in the wake of fresh clashes between the government and the opposition in 2015 (UNHCR, 2015). The UN provided some refugee camps, where people were served food and given water as well as security. Some even fled the country, which has led to the increased number of refugees other than those who had run away during the civil war. While the crisis may have been resolved, there is still a large number of South Sudan refugees living in nearby countries such as Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia (Gambino, Trevelyan, & Fitzwater, 2014).
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In conclusion, South Sudan has been involved in important historic events both before and after its independence. It should be noted that the country was the youngest in the world having acquired its independence from Sudan in 2011. This essay has applied several geographical concepts to explain the general political profile of the country including its population and migration profile by using clear and concise reasons to explicate why and how they relate to each other.