South Sudan profile - Timeline


Thousands of refugees streamed into South Sudan in mid-2012 to escape violence in the border areas of Sudan

A chronology of key events

1899-1955 - South Sudan is part of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, under joint British-Egyptian rule.

1956 - Sudan gains independence.

First civil war

1962 - Civil war led by the southern separatist Anya Nya movement begins with north.

1969 - Group of socialist and communist Sudanese military officers led by Col Jaafar Muhammad Numeiri seizes power; Col Numeiri outlines policy of autonomy for south.

1972 - Government concedes a measure of autonomy for southern Sudan in a peace agreement signed in Addis Ababa.

1978 - Oil discovered in Unity State in southern Sudan.

Second civil war

1983 - Fighting breaks out again between north and south Sudan, under leadership of John Garang's Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), after Sudanese President Jaafar Numeiri abolishes South Sudan's autonomy.

1988 - Democratic Unionist Party - part of Sudan's ruling coalition government - drafts cease-fire agreement with the SPLM, but it is not implemented.

1989 - Military seizes power in Sudan.

2001 - Sudanese Islamist leader Hassan Al-Turabi's party, the Popular National Congress, signs memorandum of understanding with the southern rebel SPLM's armed wing, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). Mr Al-Turabi is arrested the next day.

2002 - Talks in Kenya lead to a breakthrough agreement between southern rebels and Sudanese government on ending the civil war. The Machakos Protocol provides for the south to seek self-determination after six years.

North-south peace deal

2005 January - North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ends civil war; deal provides for a permanent ceasefire, autonomy for the south, a power-sharing government involving rebels in Khartoum and a south Sudanese referendum on independence in six years' time.

2005 July - Former southern rebel leader John Garang is sworn in as first vice-president. A new Sudanese constitution which gives the south a large degree of autonomy is signed.

2005 August - South Sudanese leader John Garang is killed in a plane crash. He is succeeded by Salva Kiir Mayardiit.

2005 October - Autonomous government is formed in South Sudan, in line with the January 2005 peace deal. The administration is dominated by former rebels.

Fragile peace

2006 November - Hundreds die in fighting centred on the southern town of Malakal - the heaviest between northern Sudanese forces and former rebels since the 2005 peace deal.

2008 March - Tensions rise over clashes between an Arab militia and SPLM in the disputed oil-rich Abyei area on the north-south divide - a key sticking point in the 2005 peace accord.

2009 July - North and south Sudan say they accept ruling by arbitration court in The Hague shrinking disputed Abyei region and placing the major Heglig oil field in the north.

Independence referendum

2009 December - Leaders of North and South reach deal on terms of referendum on independence due in South by 2011.

2011 January - The people of South Sudan vote in favour of full independence from Sudan.

2011 February - Clashes between the security forces and rebels in southern Sudan's Jonglei state leave more than 100 dead.

2011 May - North occupies disputed border region of Abyei.

2011 June - Governments of north and south sign accord to demilitarize the disputed Abyei region and let in an Ethiopian peacekeeping force.