War-ravaged South Sudan at a glance

2018-07-26 17:58
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

South Sudan, the world's youngest country, has been mired in a devastating civil war for more than four years, with tens of thousands of people killed, nearly four million displaced and its economy in ruins.

War broke out when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup just two years after the country gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

The arch-foes signed a "preliminary" power-sharing deal on Thursday, with a confirmation to follow on July 26. Here is some background:

World's youngest state

Before independence, the south of Sudan was ravaged by two civil wars (1956-1972 and 1983-2005) that pitted mainly Christian and animist insurgents in the south against Khartoum's Arab-dominated government.

Millions died in the conflicts.

A peace accord signed in 2005 by the government and southern rebels exempted the south from Islamic Sharia law and granted it six years of self-rule ahead of a referendum on independence.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER 

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

The 2011 referendum went nearly 99% in favour of secession from the north and on July 9 that year, South Sudan proclaimed its independence. Kiir was sworn in as the country's first president with Machar as his deputy.

The international community - led by the US, China, Russia and the European Union, as well as Sudan - quickly recognised the new African state.

Former allies turn enemies

Kiir and Machar were on the same side in the push for independence from Khartoum, but ethnic and political rivalries drove them apart.

Tensions spiked when Machar - from the country's second-largest ethnic group, the Nuer - was fired as vice president in 2013.

His sacking came after Kiir, from the majority Dinka people, accused him of mounting a failed coup. Machar rejected the charge, in turn accusing the president of purging political rivals.

Civil war erupts

By December 2013 the new country had descended into civil war and the conflict, which spread to several states, saw ethnic massacres, attacks on civilians, widespread rape, the recruitment of child soldiers and other forms of brutality.

Under a 2015 peace deal, Machar was reinstalled as vice president and returned to the capital Juba, but fighting broke out there the next year and Machar and his forces fled.

Power-sharing and 'war crimes'

The two foes met for the first time in two years on June 20, 2018, in Addis Ababa. A week later in Khartoum they agreed on a "permanent" ceasefire.

South Sudan's government and rebels on July 6 settled to withdraw troops from urban areas as part of the agreement.

The following day in Kampala they accepted a power-sharing deal that would see Machar reinstated as vice president.

The UN on July 10 slammed "revolting acts" by South Sudan government-backed forces, describing "what appear to be deliberate, ruthless and brutally violent attacks on civilians, particularly against women and children".

Three days later the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan and sanctions on two military officials.

Economy ruined

Following more than four years of civil war, the Juba government coffers were empty and hyperinflation - which peaked at around 500% in 2016, decelerating to 155% in 2017 - had sent prices soaring. The South Sudanese pound collapsed.

Oil production - from which South Sudan gained 98% of its revenues on its independence - plummeted to about 120 000 barrels a day from a peak of 350 000, according to the World Bank.

Juba, which inherited three-quarters of the former Sudan's oil reserves during independence, depends on its northern neighbour's oil infrastructure - refineries and pipelines - for its exports.

The conflict has also heavily disrupted agriculture, sparking a major food crisis. In 2017 South Sudan endured four months of famine, which affected around 100 000 people.

Seven million South Sudanese, more than half of the population, will need food aid this year, according to the UN.

Read more on:    un  |  riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...

 

Paws

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.