South Sudan: a timeline to independence

On Saturday, after decades of civil war and almost two centuries of rule by outsiders, South Sudan will finally become an independent state. Here's a look at the road the fledgling nation has traveled to get to where it is today.

British colonization of Sudan (1890s-1953)

In the 1890s, British forces invaded the Mahdi’s Sudan, bringing it under their control, imposing their policies, and filling the top administrative posts with British officials.

After World War I, the Sudanese nationalism movement gained steam. Conscious that the British could not suppress Sudanese desire for independence, the British colonizers signed an agreement in 1953 that granted the Sudanese self-governance.

While free from British rule, however, the undeveloped, mainly Christian and animist South would still be ruled by an administration based in the remote capital of the Muslim-dominated North, Khartoum.

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