Independence Day in South Sudan Date in the current year: July 9, 2024

Independence Day in South Sudan One of the world’s youngest nations, South Sudan celebrates its Independence Day on July 9. On this day in 2011, the country gained independence from Sudan.

South Sudan was first inhabited by the Nilotic peoples from the Nile Valley sometime before the 10th century. A number of non-Nilotic tribes came to the region and settled here between the 15th and the 19th centuries. They included the Azande people, who are now one of the largest nationalities in South Sudan.

In the early 19th century, the region was conquered by the Turko-Egyptian forces, but they couldn’t exert any real authority and were forced to open the region to European missionaries and merchants. Egyptian rule in Sudan was restored in 1899 by an Anglo-Egyptian agreement. The region was jointly administered by Egypt and the United Kingdom as a condominium.

Following Egypt’s independence from Britain in 1922, there was uncertainty over the fate of Sudan. Eventually all Egyptian public employees, civil servants, and troops had to withdraw from the region following Britain’s orders, but the region remained a condominium. British authorities treated the southern part of Sudan as a separate region, detaching it from the rest of Sudan for practical purposes. They forbade northern Sudanese to enter and work in the south and severed the economic ties between the south and the north.

In 1953, Britain and Egypt agreed to grant Sudan self-government after three years of transition. Following the outbreak of the First Sudanese Civil War between the south and the north, the Sudanese parliament declared independence on December 19, 1955, and Britain and Egypt recognized it on January 1, 1956.

The war lasted until 1972 and was followed by the Second Sudanese Civil War that lasted for 22 years, from 1983 and 2005. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement of the south was signed on January 9, 2005. South Sudan was granted autonomy for six years, followed by an independence referendum.

From January 9 to 15, 2011, an independence referendum took place in South Sudan to determine whether the region should declare its independence from Sudan or remain a part of it. The overwhelming majority of voters voted in favor of independence. The Republic of South Sudan officially declared its independence on July 9, 2011, becoming the world’s youngest independent nation.

Independence Day is the national holiday of South Sudan. It used to be celebrated across the country with rallies and other events, with the biggest celebration taking place in the capital city of Juba. However, independence didn’t put an end to conflict in South Sudan, and the country has been torn apart by civil war since 2013. For several years in a row, Independence Day celebrations were canceled due to the shortage of funds and the possibility of violence. Some people were disappointed at this decision, arguing that Independence Day celebrations would have been a bright spot in the middle of the conflict.

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