South Sudan History Timeline

According to ezinereligion, South Sudan is on July 9, 2011 the world’s newest country and was formerly a region in Sudan. It has historically been independent and as a result of the 2nd Sudanese Civil War it gained status as an autonomous region. From 9 January 2011 and one week onwards, a referendum was held on complete independence from the Khartoum government. The result of this poll was 98.83% for secession. On July 9, 2011, Sudan was divided and a new state was created. The capital of South Sudan is Juba. South Sudan has borders to the north to Sudan, to the east to Ethiopia, to the southeast to Uganda and Kenya, to the southwest to the Democratic Republic of Congo and finally to the west to the Central African Republic. On 14 July 2011, South Sudan was admitted to the UN as number 193.

The area of ​​South Sudan is 619,745 km2, which is more than twice as large as Italy (and more than fourteen times as large as Denmark). The region has no coast, but the White Nile runs across Juba and South Sudan. In the border country between North Sudan and South Sudan, there are significant oil deposits. South Sudan is characterized by large jungle and swamp areas in contrast to northern Sudan, which consists mainly of desert.

Along the border with Uganda runs the Imatong Mountains with the country’s highest point, Mount Kinyeti at 3187 m.

There are not many written sources for early South Sudanese history, but according to oral tradition, South Sudan was populated by nomadic peoples until the Nile people (Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk people) settled in South Sudan around the ninth century.

Christianity reached what later became northern Sudan, then called Nubia, already during the first century AD. This developed especially under the influence of the Eastern Roman Empire. Byzantine architecture in particular influenced the early Christian churches in lower Nubia.


15th century – The Egyptian Mamluks destroyed Dongola in the 14th century and Alodia around the year 1500. These invasions took place constantly despite the formation of new kingdoms. There were now Muslim kingdoms in Sennar – by the Blue Nile (Al-Bahr al-Azraq) – Kordofan further west and Darfur in the middle of the desert.

1822 – North Sudan is captured by an Ottoman-Egyptian invading army led by Muhammad Ali, while South Sudan remains free.

In 1899, both North Sudan and South Sudan were under Egyptian / British rule. Until quite a few years before their joint independence from Britain, North Sudan and South Sudan are treated as separate regions. In practice, the regions are separated at the 8th latitude, and in view of the risk of spreading diseases, any movement across this latitude is limited as far as possible.

1955 – Civil war between North Sudan and South Sudan. South Sudan refuses to be ruled by Khartoum. This marks the beginning of a bloody conflict between North Sudan and South Sudan, where the government in Khartoum is believed to have committed genocide against the people of South Sudan.

1956 – January 1. Sudan gained independence, but even at that time there was unrest in the southern part of the country, as it feared Arab-Muslim dominance from the northern area. It developed into a civil war that did not end until 1972, when South Sudan gained partial autonomy.

1980s – In the early 1980s, however, a new civil war broke out, the Second Sudanese Civil War, after the National Islamic Front gained more and more influence, and in 1983 sharia (Islamic law) was introduced. In 1985, the United States suspended its credits to the country, and the IMF forced food price increases. The uprising now also spread to the capital. In April 1985, Nimeiry traveled to the United States to request assistance but was unable to return to his country: his defense minister and army general Abdul Rahman Suwar al Dahab had seized power. of South Sudan. The protracted civil war became unusually bloody, costing approx. 2 mio. people life and drove approx. 4 mio. on the run.

1992 – In the first months of the year, the United States Office of Disaster Victims condemns the systematic extermination of people of Nubian descent and the expulsion of people to desert areas. These later searched for Khartoum, where they were collected in camps without drinking water or latrines.

1998 – In January, the United States imposes an economic blockade on Sudan. The superpower stated as a background that Sudan “supports international terrorism”, trains opposition groups from neighboring countries to destabilize them and otherwise lacks respect for human rights.

One month later, the UN called on the international community to provide Sudan with $ 100 million in aid to come to the rescue of the 4 million victims of war and drought.

1999 – March. A meningitis epidemic hit the country. In Khartoum alone, 30 people died a day. It was the suburbs of the capital that were hardest hit.

2001 – In December, the government announces the release of more than 14,500 predominantly black slaves. It happened after a 6-month campaign by human rights organizations.

2004 – In June, US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Sudan and tried to put pressure on the government to stop the attacks on the civilian population in Darfur. At the same time, the United States pointed out that the UN Security Council could impose sanctions if the violence continued. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that if the Sudanese government could not protect the people of Darfur, then the international community would have to respond. The UN characterized the situation as currently the world’s most serious humanitarian disaster.

Iflg. The UN points to the killings and the massive displacement of the civilian population as a “deliberate campaign for ethnic cleansing”. The Sudanese government continued its refusal to support the Arab militias attacking the villages. At the same time, the humanitarian organizations criticized the government for putting obstacles in the way of the distribution of food and medicine. Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafá Ismail admitted that there was a “problem” in Darfur, but he considered it grossly exaggerated and promised that his government would take a number of steps to resolve the problem, even before the end of Powell’s visit.

In July, the UN moved thousands of refugees to safer camps. At the same time, thousands of Sudanese continued their flight to Chad due to the continuing violence in Darfur. The humanitarian organizations accused the janjawid militias of being responsible for the expulsion of 1.2 million. Sudanese out of the country. At the same time, the United States called on the United Nations to impose sanctions on Sudan, as the central government is showing crippling inaction in dealing with the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur.

2005 – In March, it was estimated that 180,000 people had died during the conflict in Darfur in the previous 18 months, that 2 million. had fled from their villages to seek refuge in the main cities, and that 200,000 had fled to Chad. The UN Special Commission on Darfur concluded that the Sudanese government had not committed genocide – which would otherwise have ordered the international community to intervene – but that it had committed “serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law”, and that it can be prosecuted as crimes against humanity. The Commission specifically recommended that the Security Council allow the UN war crimes tribunal ICC to investigate the situation thoroughly. It quickly created great disagreement. The United States, which is fighting the ICC, proposed instead that a special ad hoc court be set up in Arusha, Tanzania, and that the Security Council adopt sanctions against Sudan. The EU, on the other hand, supported the proposal that the ICC be brought to justice.

2008 – After the Second Sudanese Civil War, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is prosecuted by the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, for organizing genocide against the people of South Sudan.

2010 – Nadia Plesner’s large painting Darfurnica is a modern version of Picasso’s Guernica. With the painting, Nadia Plesner wanted to draw attention to the terrible war crimes and the humanitarian situation in the Darfur conflict in Sudan and the outside world’s indifference to the problem. Plesner further believed that the media world focused more on celebrities than on humanitarian disasters.

2011 – Since the implementation of the peace plan with the referendum on independence on 9 January, the situation has been relatively peaceful, although there have been minor clashes with rebel groups.

In late October, Israeli planes bombed the Yarmouk plant on the outskirts of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Israel would neither confirm nor deny the attack, but characterized the plant as a “weapons factory financed by Iran” and characterized Sudan as a “terrorist state”. Now it was probably not Sudan that bombed Israel, but rather Israel that bombed Sudan. The attack on the factory in Khartoum, 1600km from Israel, was considered by international observers as an exercise operation prior to a possible Israeli air strike on Iran. Israel last bombed Sudan in February 2009. In 1998, the United States bombed an alleged weapons factory in Khartoum that subsequently turned out to be a medicine factory.

2012 – Unrest broke out on the border with Sudan about, among other things. rich oil fields. In September, agreements were reached between the two countries on oil exports and the establishment of a demilitarized zone along the border.

2013 – June 9. Just a few months after a long-running dispute was settled between Sudan and South Sudan, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has ordered the closure of the South Sudan oil pipeline into Sudan on Sunday. A halt to oil exports will cause significant economic problems for the two underdeveloped African countries, which have largely lived off oil revenues.

South Sudan History Timeline