For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Southern Sudan Autonomous Region (2005–2011).

Southern Sudan Autonomous Region (2005–2011)

Southern Sudan
حكومة جنوب السودان
Ḥukūmat Janūb as-Sūdān
Autonomous region of Sudan

Map showing Southern Sudan (red) within Sudan (darker brown).
• 2008
644,329 km2 (248,777 sq mi)
• 2008
 • TypeAutonomous region
• 2005
John Garang
• 2005–2011
Salva Kiir Mayardit
LegislatureLegislative Assembly
• Established
9 July 2005
9 July 2011
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Republic of the Sudan
Republic of South Sudan
Today part of South Sudan

Southern Sudan (Arabic: حكومة جنوب السودان Ḥukūmat Janūb as-Sūdān; Dinka: Lɔ̈k Bïkrotmac Paguot Thudän) was an autonomous region consisting of the ten southern states of Sudan between its formation in July 2005 and independence as the Republic of South Sudan in July 2011. The autonomous government was initially established in Rumbek and later moved to Juba. It was bordered by Ethiopia to the east; Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south; and the Central African Republic to the west. To the north lies the predominantly Arab and Muslim region directly under the control of the central government. The region's autonomous status was a condition of a peace agreement between the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) and the Government of Sudan represented by the National Congress Party ending the Second Sudanese Civil War. The conflict was Africa's longest running civil war.[1][2]


Egypt, under the rule of Khedive Isma'il Pasha, first attempted to colonise the region in the 1870s, establishing the province of Equatoria in the southern portion. Egypt's first governor was Samuel Baker, commissioned in 1869, followed by Charles George Gordon in 1874 and by Emin Pasha in 1878. The Mahdist War of the 1880s destabilised the nascent province, and Equatoria ceased to exist as an Egyptian outpost in 1889. Important settlements in Equatoria included Lado, Gondokoro, Dufile and Wadelai. In 1947, British hopes to join the southern part of Sudan with Uganda were dashed by the Juba Conference, to unify northern and southern Sudan.

Civil war

The region was affected by two civil wars since Sudanese independence – the Sudanese government fought the Anyanya rebel army from 1955 to 1972 in the First Sudanese Civil War and then SPLA/M in the Second Sudanese Civil War for almost twenty-one years after the founding of SPLA/M in 1983 – resulting in serious neglect, lack of infrastructural development, and major destruction and displacement. More than 2.5 million people were killed, and more than 5 million were externally displaced while others have been internally displaced, becoming refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts.

Peace agreement and autonomy

On 9 January 2005, a peace treaty was signed in Nairobi, Kenya, ending the Second Sudanese Civil War and reestablishing Southern autonomy.[3] John Garang, then leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement, feted the treaty, predicting, "This peace agreement will change Sudan forever."[4] The treaty provided for a referendum on South Sudanese independence to be held on 9 January 2011, six years after the original signing. It also divided oil income evenly between the North and the South.

Use of sharia law continued in the Muslim-majority North, while in Southern Sudan, its authority was devolved to the elected assembly. Southern Sudan ultimately rejected implementation of sharia law.[5] In late 2010, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced that if Southern Sudan voted for independence, Sudan would fully adopt sharia as the basis for law.[6]

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the SPLA disputed the results of the 2008 Sudanese census, which claimed Southern Sudan accounted for 21 percent of the population. The SPLA insisted that Southern Sudan included closer to one-third of the national population and that Southern Sudanese had been undercounted.[7]

Referendum for independence (2011)

A referendum on independence for Southern Sudan was held from 9–15 January 2011. Preliminary results released by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission on 30 January 2011 indicate that 98% of voters selected the "separation" option, with 1% selecting "unity".[8] Southern Sudan became an independent country on 9 July 2011, a date set by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.[9] On 31 January 2011, Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha stated the Sudanese Government's "acceptance" of the referendum results.[10] On 23 January 2011, members of a steering committee on post-independence governing told reporters that upon independence the land would be named the Republic of South Sudan "out of familiarity and convenience." Other names that had been considered were Azania, Nile Republic, Kush Republic and even Juwama, a portmanteau for Juba, Wau and Malakal, three major cities.[11]

Government and politics

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement led to the promulgation of an Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan [12] which established the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan headed by a President. The President was Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People's Liberation Army. John Garang, the founder of the SPLA/M was the first President until his death on 30 July 2005. Salva Kiir Mayärdït, his deputy, was sworn in as First Vice President of Sudan and President of the Southern Sudan on 11 August 2005. Riek Machar replaced him as Vice-President. Legislative power is vested in the government and the unicameral Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly. The Constitution also provided for an independent judiciary, the highest organ being the Supreme Court.

Presidents and Vice-Presidents

Colour key (for political parties):
  Sudan People's Liberation Movement

Presidents of Southern Sudan
Name Portrait Term of office Political party
John Garang de Mabior 9 July 2005 30 July 2005 SPLM
Salva Kiir Mayardit 30 July 2005 9 July 2011 SPLM
Vice Presidents of Southern Sudan
Name Portrait Term of office Political party President
Salva Kiir Mayardit 9 July 2005 30 July 2005 SPLM John Garang de Mabior
Vacant 30 July 2005 11 August 2005 Salva Kiir Mayardit
Riek Machar 11 August 2005 9 July 2011 SPLM

States and counties

  Abyei (to hold referendum in 2011)
  South Kurdufan and Blue Nile (to hold "popular consultations" in 2011)

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) granted the Government of Southern Sudan authority over the three historical provinces of (Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile) which previously enjoyed autonomy as the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region between 1972 and 1983. It did not include Nuba Mountains, Abyei and Blue Nile. Abyei held a referendum on joining Southern Sudan or staying under Sudanese control, while Nuba Mountains (South Kurdufan as a whole) and Blue Nile were required to hold "popular consultations".

The autonomous government had authority over the following regions and States of Sudan:

Bahr el Ghazal
Greater Upper Nile

The ten states were further subdivided into 86 counties.

Abyei Area

Abyei is a region located on the border between southern Sudan and northern Sudan that is claimed by both sides. The region was to hold a referendum on joining the south or remaining part of the north at the same time as the southern independence referendum but this was postponed. As part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, an Abyei Area Administration was established on 31 August 2008.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Fisher, Jonah (23 October 2005). "South Sudan gets new government". BBC News, United Kingdom. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  2. ^ "Southern Sudan fragile peace". Thomson Reuters Foundatio. 27 May 2008. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Historic Sudan peace accord signed". CNN. 9 January 2005. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Quotes from Sudan peace treaty signing ceremony". Sudan Tribune. 9 January 2005. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  5. ^ Cohen, Reut (15 July 2009). "Sharia Law in Sudan". Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Omar al-Bashir: northern Sudan will adopt sharia law if country splits". The Guardian. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Discontent over Sudan census". News24. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  8. ^ Southern Sudan Referendum 2011 (30 January 2011). "Results for the Referendum of Southern Sudan | Southern Sudan Referendum 2011". Retrieved 11 March 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Sudan deal to end Abyei clashes". BBC News. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Kron, Josh (23 January 2011). "Southern Sudan Nears a Decision on One Matter: Its New Name". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "The Interim Constitution Of Southern Sudan". 2005. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  13. ^ Ben Cahoon. "The Sudan". Retrieved 11 March 2016.

{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Southern Sudan Autonomous Region (2005–2011)
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?