On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became the newest nation in the world. Here are 10 things you – and your child – should know about the world’s newest nation.
- South Sudan was created by splitting the country of Sudan, which had been one of the largest African nations.
- The country’s official name is the Republic of South Sudan. Other names considered were the Nile Republic, Equatoria, Kush, the Nile State, and the Anyidi Democratic Republic.
- The new capital of South Sudan is Juba.
- South Sudan has adopted a new currency which will feature the face of John Garang, a revered leader for the south. Garang signed the 2005 peace deal that made it possible for South Sudan to become an independent country. He passed away shortly after signing the agreement.
- The White Nile River passes through South Sudan. The White Nile is one of two tributaries of the Nile River. The other tributary is known as the Blue Nile.
- South Sudan has a population of about 6-8 million people who mostly live in rural areas and are subsistence farmers.
- The Dinka is the largest of the 200 ethnic groups that call South Sudan home. Other tribes include the Shilluk, Nuer, Acholi, and Lotuhu.
- English is the official language but various forms of Arabic are also spoken.
- South Sudan has or will become the 196th country in the world, 193rd member of the United Nations, and the 55th country in Africa.
- The first baby born in South Sudan on July 9 – the day it became an independent nation – was a boy whose parents named him “Independent” in honor of the new nation.
Congratulations and best wishes to the people of South Sudan!