About South Sudan


Sudan had been one of the largest countries in Africa. As Sudan prepared to gain independence from joint British and Egyptian rule in 1956, southern leaders accused the new authorities in Khartoum of backing out of promises to create a federal system, and of trying to impose an Islamic and Arabic identity.

In 1955, southern army officers mutinied, sparking off a civil war between the south, led by the Anya Nya guerrilla movement, and the Sudanese government. The conflict only ended when the Addis Ababa peace agreement of 1972 accorded the South a measure of autonomy. Over 1.5 million South Sudanese were killed or died from war related causes.

But, in 1983, the South, led by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and its armed wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), again rose in rebellion when the Sudanese government cancelled the autonomy arrangements.

Over 3.5 million people lost their lives from war and war related causes and more than four million were displaced in the ensuing 22 years of guerrilla warfare. Large numbers of South Sudanese fled the fighting, either to the North (not by choice) or to neighboring countries, Europe, United States, Canada and Australia, where many remained today.

The good news is on January 9th, 2005, a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in Kenya after 21 years of turmoil between South Sudanese and Northern Sudanese. The CPA ended Africa’s longest-running civil war. On July 9, 2011 South Sudan gained independence from Sudan.

Formed from the 10 southern-most states of Sudan, South Sudan is a land of expansive grassland, swamps and tropical rain forest straddling both banks of the White Nile. Unlike the predominantly Muslim population of Sudan, the South Sudanese follow traditional religions, while minorities are Christians.


Sudan & South Sudan

1955 – the first civil war between North and South Sudan begins

1956 – Sudan becomes independent

1972 – Peace agreement signed between South and North Sudan

1978 – Oil discovered southern Sudan.

1983 – Civil war breaks out again

1999 – Sudan begins to export oil

2005 January – Khartoum Government and southern rebels sign the Comprehensive Peace Agreement

2008 July – The International Criminal Court calls for the arrest of President Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur

2011 January 9-15 – South Sudanese vote in the referendum

2011 February 7 – Commission announced voters had overwhelmingly backed independence

2011 July 9 – establishment of the Republic of South Sudan

South Sudan Voices of Hope

2005 – South Sudan Voices of Hope Founded by Kenneth Elisapana

2005 – Hope Happens Mission Trip

Began construction of SSVH site

Provided seeds, clothes, medicines, supplies, goats


2006 – Hope Happens Mission Trip

Provided seeds, medicines, supplies, goats

Constructed well


2008 – Hope Happens Mission Trip

Provided agricultural implements, seeds, clothes, medicines, supplies, goats

Began construction of New Sudan school


2009 – SSVH became a 501c3

2010 – Hope Happens Mission Trip

Began construction of Hope Medical Clinic

Provided seeds, clothes, medicines, supplies

Facts and Figures

Area: 644,329 sq km, 42nd in the world, slightly smaller than Texas, landlocked

Climate: hot with seasonal rainfall influenced by the annual shift of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. Rainfall is heaviest in the upland areas of the south and diminishes to the north

Terrain: the terrain gradually rises from plains in the north and center to southern highlands along the border with Uganda and Kenya; the White Nile, flowing north out of the uplands of Central Africa, is the major geographic feature of the country supporting agriculture and extensive wild animal populations; The Sudd (a name derived from floating vegetation that hinders navigation) is a large swampy area of more than 100,000 sq km fed by the waters of the White Nile that dominates the center of the country

Natural Resources: hydropower, fertile agricultural land, gold, diamonds, petroleum, hardwoods, limestone, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver Ethnic Groups: Dinka, Kakwa, Bari, Azande, Shilluk, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, Acholi

Language: English and Arabic are official; regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk

Religion: Christian, animist

Population: 8 to 12 million, 92nd largest in the world, 22% live in urban areas where Juba (the capital) has ~350,000

Governance: 10 states; Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria

Major Infectious diseases: risk very high: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever, malaria, dengue fever, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) schistosomiasis, meningococcal meningitis, HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 3.1% (24th in the world)

Literacy: 27% (40%male/16% female)

Agriculture – products: sorghum, maize, rice, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, mangoes, papayas, bananas, sweet potatoes sunflower, cotton, sesame, cassava, beans, peanuts; cattle, sheep

Economy – overview: Industry and infrastructure in South Sudan are severely underdeveloped and poverty is widespread, following several decades of civil war. Subsistence agriculture provides a living for the vast majority of the population. Property rights are tentative and price signals are missing because markets are not well organized. South Sudan has little infrastructure – just 60 km of paved roads. Electricity is produced mostly by costly diesel generators and running water is scarce. South Sudan depends largely on imports of goods, services, and capital from the north. Despite these disadvantages, South Sudan does have abundant natural resources. South Sudan produces nearly three-fourths of the former Sudan’s total oil output of nearly a half million barrels per day. The government of South Sudan derives nearly 98% of its budget revenues from oil. South Sudan also holds one of the richest agricultural areas in Africa in the White Nile valley, which has very fertile soils and more-than-adequate water supplies. Currently the region supports 10-20 million head of cattle. South Sudan also contains large wildlife herds. And the White Nile has sufficient flow to generate large quantities of hydroelectricity.

Landmines in South Sudan

As in each month, there is bad news and good news coming out of Africa related to landmines. Conflicts in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia continue to generate new landmine casualties…

Our Logo

Our new logo was designed and developed by Tony Asta and Gary Brown. It was based on the incorporating the colors of the Republic of South Sudan flag and the hope for a prosperous and promising future for the men, women and children of South Sudan.

Gary’s artistic passion is revealed in form, design media manipulation, balance, uniqueness and precision. To see more about Gary Brown and his work, visit his site at garybrownart.com

South Sudan's Flag

The colors of the flag are to represent the South Sudanese people (black), peace, (white), the blood shed for freedom (red), the land (green), and the waters of the Nile (blue). The yellow sun represents the star in the flag. The star represents unity of the states of South Sudan.