South Sudan celebrates Independence Day on 9 July, the day in 2011 when it separated from Sudan to become an independent nation. This was the result of a two-decades-long civil war between north and south in which many thousands of people perished.
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While the history of South Sudan is long and complex, the modern situation began to unfold in 1899, when all of Sudan was under a joint Egyptian-British government. When Egypt became fully independent in 1922, however, Egypt’s influence was restricted by the UK. Plus, the UK began to administer northern and southern Sudan somewhat differently, not wanting the north to impose its will on the south.
The process of letting Sudan go as an independent nation began in 1953, and before it was finalised in 1956, the first Sudanese Civil War had already broken out. This first war ran from 1955 until 1972. A Second Sudanese Civil War then broke out in 1983 and lasted until a truce was signed in 2005. Finally, South Sudan’s people voted for independence in a referendum in 2011. South Sudan declared its full autonomy on 9 July 2011.
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