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Street children cry out for help

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The 12 April 2011 was the international day of the street child but, in much of South Sudan, soon to be the world’s newest state, it has passed without notice or acknowledgement, save for a local charity in Yei which organized an event to highlight the social and economic magnitude of the problem.

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Background on South Sudan
Background on South Sudan PDF Print

SouthSudanNasaPublished: 31 August 2010

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (or CPA), also known as the Naivasha Agreement, was a set of agreements culminating in January 2005 that were signed between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Government of Sudan. The Naivasha Agreement was meant to end the Second Sudanese Civil War, develop democratic governance countrywide and share oil revenues. It further set a timetable by which Southern Sudan is having a referendum on its independence.

Conflict in Southern Sudan

 People in the region of Southern Sudan suffered most during the Second Sudanese Civil War started in 1983, although it was largely a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972. Though originating in southern Sudan, the civil war spread to Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile by the end of the 1980s. Roughly 2 million people have died as a result of war, and famine and disease caused by the conflict. Further, 4 million people in southern Sudan have been displaced at least once (and often repeatedly) during the war.The civilian death toll is one of the highest of any war since World War II. The conflict officially ended with the signing of a peace agreement in January 2005.

General info
It is estimated that the Southern region has a population of 8 million, but given the lack of a census in several decades, this estimate may be severely compromised. Juba is expected to become the capital of Southern Sudan should it decide to become independent, and according to census in 2005 its population was around 160.000. Today estimate is around 250.000. The economy is predominantly rural and subsistence farming. At the beginning of 2005, the economy began a transition from this rural dominance and urban areas within Southern Sudan have seen extensive development. This region has been negatively 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 infrastructure development, and major destruction and displacement. More than 2.5 million people have been killed, and more than 5 million have become externally displaced while others have been internally displaced, becoming refugees as a result of the civil war and war-related impacts.

Humanitarian situation

Southern Sudan is acknowledged to have some of the worst health indicators in the world. The under-five infant mortality rate is 112 per 1,000, whilst maternal mortality is the highest in the world at 2,053.9 per 100,000 live births. In 2004, there were only three surgeons serving southern Sudan, with three proper hospitals, and in some areas there was just one doctor for every 500,000 people. Ninety percent of the southern population live on less than one dollar per day. The epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the Southern Sudan is poorly documented but the prevalence is thought to be around 3.1%.


The redrawing of the borders, or demarcation poses a significant issue and catalyst for conflict if the South secedes the North. Those living on the demarcation border and internally displaced (IDP) fear that the South split from the North will harden the border, threatening their livelihood and security. Demarcation, a significant topic of discussion in light of the South Sudan vote for independence, may lead to further conflict if not addressed appropriately. The 1,200-mile border region between north and south is among the most resource-rich and ethnically diverse areas of Sudan. Predominantly Arab pastoralists from north of the border who journey southward each year to graze their livestock “fear that demarcation will prevent their seasonal movement.”


Southern Sudanese practise mainly Christianity and traditional animist beliefs with a small minority that practice Islam. Most Christians are Catholic or Anglican, though other denominations also are active.

Tribal differences

The fear of violence post-separation also stems from the historical make-up of the tribal demographics of the Southern Sudan region. “The post-independence period — when the common denominator of self-determination is gone — could be marked by significant infighting and increased conflict on tribal lines,” Zachary Vertin from the International Crisis Group think-tank said. Sudan watchers fear that without the unifying goal of an independent south to fight for, discontent may grow over the government’s poor provision of basic services, corruption and bad behaviour by the south’s ill-trained army.

Source: Field research & Wikipedia

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