Juba Port (BBCWorldService)

South Sudan: a newly independent nation

9th July 2011

After decades of conflict with the ruling north, Sudan's southern regions have officially become an independent nation

Today, it's official. South Sudan has split from its rulers in north Sudan to become a separate country. Last January, the people from the southern provinces, in an overwhelming majority, voted in a referendum to break away from the northern region, in an attempt to dissolve the long-lasting tensions between the north and south.

The two countries are dramatically juxtaposed against one-another: with the north being an Islamic state and the south having a largely non-Muslim population. The north will continue to be governed by President Omar al-Bashir and the south is set to be governed in the world's newest capital city, Juba, by Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Towns and cities along the border have suffered from long-lasting conflicts. However the region's leaders are hoping the break-up of Sudan will ease tensions.

The FCO warn against travel to Darfur and other specific parts of Sudan. However, many travellers visit the country and are rewarded with fantastic ancients ruins, friendly locals and a rich Sudanese culture.

Don't take my word for it? Check out editor-in-chief Lyn Hughes' feature on northern Sudan in the next issue of Wanderlust (available to buy on 21 July)

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Key Facts

  • Sudan

    Sudan travel information, including maps of Sudan, food, drink and where to stay in Sudan plus the best time to travel in Sudan

  • South Sudan

    After decades of conflict with the ruling north, Sudan's southern regions have officially become an independent nation

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