The Republic of South Sudan officially came into existence Saturday after a journey that started in 2005 with Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and culminated with a vote for independence by the southern half of the country in a referendum in January this year.
Sudan is located in eastern Africa and it is the largest country in land area in Africa. Differences in ethnic groups, politics, religion and culture between the north and the south are significant.
In May 1983, a group of southern Sudanese soldiers led by John Garang staged a coup and established the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). It began armed activities to overthrow the Sudanese government, triggering a second civil war in the country.
Read more here: Backgrounder: North-south peace process in Sudan.