Wau, South Sudan

Wau, South Sudan

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Wau, South Sudan

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Wau (Arabic: واو Wāw; also Wow or Waw) is a city in South Sudan.


It lies on the western bank of the Jur River, in Wau County, Western Bahr el Ghazal State, in northwestern South Sudan. Its location lies approximately , northwest of Juba, the capital and largest city in that country. The geographical coordinates of gthe city of Wau are: 7° 42' 0.00"N, 28° 0' 0.00"E (Latitude: 7.7000; Longitude: 28.0000).


Wau was initially established as a zariba (fortified base) by slave-traders in the 19th century. During the time of Anglo-Egyptian condominium rule in Sudan, the city became an administrative center.

Burr and Collins in 1994 described Wau:* Burr, J.M. and Collins, R.O. (1994) Requiem for the Sudan: War, Drought and Disaster Relief on the Nile. Westview Press, Boulder, CO, USA, p. 74 as follows:

No one has ever been “at home” in Wau. Situated on the fringe of the Dinka country, it is surrounded by a host of disorganized and diverse peoples . . . It was and remains a town belonging to no single ethnic group, deriving its importance only from its position as a commercial and administrative center . . . Located in the midst of the vast Nilotic plain hundreds of miles from nowhere, it was miserable under the best of circumstances . . .

During Second Sudanese Civil War, it was a garrison town of the Khartoum-based Sudanese Armed Forces, and was the scene of extensive fighting in the spring...
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