South Sudan <<soo DAN>> is a country in eastern Africa. South Sudan became independent in 2011, after it separated from the nation of Sudan. Juba is South Sudan’s capital and largest city. Juba lies on the White Nile River. Most South Sudanese people live near the river or one of its branches.
South Sudan’s landscape includes plains, jungles, swamps, and low mountains. The White Nile floods South Sudan’s flatlands to form a vast swamp called the Sudd (Arabic for obstacle). Jungles cover much of South Sudan. Mountains rise along South Sudan’s borders with Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
South Sudan is home to many wild animals. They include gazelles, giraffes, lions, leopards, and elephants. Such antelope species as kob and tiang are common. Rare animal species, including the giant eland and shoebill stork, also live there. Hippopotamuses and crocodiles live along the White Nile.
South Sudan is home to many ethnic groups. The Dinka make up the largest group. Most people speak Dinka or other African languages. Many speak Arabic or English. Most South Sudanese follow traditional African religions. Others practice Christianity and Islam. Most of South Sudan’s people farm the land or herd animals along the White Nile. Many people practice seasonal fishing.
Resources and products
South Sudan is rich in natural resources, including oil. However, the nation suffers from poverty and underdevelopment. The government relies almost entirely on oil for its income. The country’s economy also relies on agriculture. Some farmers make shea butter from the nuts of shea trees. Shea butter is used in cosmetics.
People have lived in what is now South Sudan for thousands of years. Egypt controlled parts of the area at various times. Egypt and the United Kingdom ruled Sudan from the early 1900’s. Sudan became an independent nation in 1956. In January 2011, the people of South Sudan voted to separate from Sudan. The new Republic of South Sudan became independent in July.