Great expectations

South Sudan is a landlocked country in east-central Africa. It is surrounded by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. Once part of Sudan, the 10 southernmost states formed a separate country in 2011. This makes it the youngest country in the world and also the poorest and least developed. The capital is Juba and the currency is the South Sudanese pound.


South Sudan’s most dominant physical feature is the Nile river system, which runs across the country from south to north.

In the west is the Ironstone Plateau, which has flat elevated land and isolated hills called inselbergs.

In the central area is a clay plain, at the heart of which is a vast swamp called Al Sudd.

The southern region is mountainous, and the country’s highest peak, Mount Kinyeti, lies here.


Since South Sudan was a part of Sudan, the country’s history is deeply interconnected with that of Sudan. The region was once home to a number of small, independent kingdoms until it was invaded by Egypt invaded in the 1820s. The British subsequently occupied the region. Sudan gained independence in 1956. Since then, the country has been plagued by civil war. After decades of struggle for statehood, South Sudan gained independence in 2011.


One of the most diverse countries in the continent, South Sudan has more than 60 different major ethnic groups, including the Dinka, the Nuer, the Zande, the Bari, the Shilluk, and the Anywa. Around 80% of the population lives in rural areas and more than 40% are below the age of 15. The official language is English.


Great expectations

The region abounds with wildlife owing to the freshwater and fertile soil provided by the White Nile system. It is home to some of the least explored wild habitats in Africa. Every year, the country witnesses a million-strong migration of antelopes and gazelles — rivalled only by the massive Serengeti wildebeest migration. Despite decades of violence, several other fascinating species live here, including elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, hippos, chimpanzee, ostriches, crocodiles, and the rare Nubian giraffes.


Great expectations

Food is influenced by East African and Arab cuisine. Basic meals are traditionally simple, centred around pounded millet, meat and vegetables. Peanut is used as an ingredient to thicken sauces. Asida, a staple food, is a type of thick porridge. Other specialities Popular dishes include kisra (flatbread), tamia (a deep-fried snack similar to falafel), ful medames (Sudanese fava beans), mandazi (fried bread) and kajaik (fish stew).

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 11:53:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/great-expectations/article37861074.ece

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