National Perspective URN Blog

Chronology of Events as South Sudan Heads for Independence

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The Worlds soon to be 196th Country gets independence on July 9th. Just wanted to share with you just a few snippets about the events leading to South Sudan’s independence;

– 1983: Sudanese president Gaafar al-Nimeiry rescinds a 1972 agreement under which southern Sudan enjoyed internal autonomy. This implies the introduction of Islamic sharia law in the region, rekindles an independence movement led by John Garang and his Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

– 1989: Omar al-Bashir ousts Nimeiry in a coup. He remains in power todate.

– January 2005: North and South sign a US-brokered ceasefire agreement providing for a period of autonomy for the South followed by a referendum on full independence in 2011. The region around the town of Abyei, which has oil and is claimed by both south and north, is given a special status.

– July 2005: Garang is killed in a helicopter crash. He is replaced as southern leader by Salva Kiir.

– 2008: Fighting in Abyei between troops from Southern Sudan and those of the central government in Khartoum.

– 2009: An international arbitration court in The Hague sets new borders for the region around Abyei, attributing its main oil fields to the north.

– April 2010: Sudan holds its first multi-party elections since 1986. Kiir becomes the south’s first elected president.
– October 2010: Talks between north and south fail to produce an agreement on the future status of Abyei.

– January 2011: South Sudan holds its independence referendum, with almost 99 percent voting in favor. Plans are laid for the region to split from Khartoum and become fully independent on July 9.

– April 2011: Bashir says he will not recognize the south’s independence if it insists on claims over Abyei.

– May 21: Northern Sudanese troops backed by tanks seize Abyei town and its environs.

– June 5: Clashes between northern and southern troops in the province of South Kordofan, which borders the south and is the only major oil-producing region attributed to the north.

– June 12: North-south talks sponsored by the African Union open in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The two sides agree in principle to demilitarize Abyei.

– June 15: New clashes erupt in Abyei.

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