South Sudan: Countdown to the South Sudan referendum on January 10 2011 to decide if become an independent State
The people of Southern Sudan regard January’s referendum as their first genuine opportunity to exert their right to self-determination, as enshrined in the 1945 UN Charter and underlined in the 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between North and South.
Below are some key milestones on the road to this referendum:
Pre-1946: The British and Egyptian governments administer South and North Sudan as separate and distinct regions.
1946: The South and North are merged into one administrative region by the British government. The Southerners are not consulted about the decision and have concerns about being subsumed by the larger and more powerful North.
1954: Southern Sudanese politicians formally call for a greater role in their own governance, failing which they reserve the right to self-determination.
August 1955: Months before independence, there is a mutiny in the Southern town of Torit. By the early 1960s this develops into a full-scale rebellion and what became known as Sudan’s first civil war, Anyanya I.
1 January 1956: Sudan gains its independence from Egypt and Britain.
1962: Civil war intensifies in the mainly Christian region of the South.
27 February 1972: An agreement is signed in Addis Ababa to end the war and grant self-governance to the South.