Exploring Tourism in South Sudan
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Bentiu, South Sudan

Bentiu is located in Rubkona County, Unity State, in northern South Sudan, near the International border with the Republic of Sudan. This location lies approximately 654 kilometers (406 mi), by road, northwest of Juba, the capital and largest city in the country. Bentiu sits on the southern bank of the Bahr al-Ghazal River, which separates it from the town of Rubkona, which sits on the river's northern bank. The two towns are joined by the El Salaam Bridge that spans the river. This bridge was bombed and partially damaged by Sudanese MiG 29 bomber airplanes on April 23, 2012, along with a market in Bentiu.

As of 2006, the population of Bentiu was estimated at about 9,700.

The town is the administrative, political, and commercial center of Unity State in South Sudan. The State Governor maintains the headquarters of the state in the town. However, the County Headquarters for Rubkona County, in which Bentiu is located are situated in the town of Rubkona, across the river.

During the South Sudanese conflict that began in December 2013, the national government lost control of the town to a commander loyal to Riek Machar, although Machar denied this. Violence in the area continued, and on 17 January 2014 a UN official was quoted as saying that the town “simply did not exist anymore”, and that “it was completely burnt down”. In April 2014, hundreds of Bentiu civilians were massacred by the “Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition Army” led by former vice president Riek Machar.

Unity State is the location of some of the largest oil deposits in South Sudan. The Heglig Oilfield to the north of Bentiu, straddles the border between Sudan and South Sudan. The Greater Nile Oil Pipeline begins in Unity Oil Field in Unity State and extends north into the Republic of Sudan, to the refinery at Port Sudan, on the Red Sea. Another oilfield sits near the township of Tarjath, about 60 km (35 miles) to the south of the town. A lot of petroleum-related activity goes on in and around Bentiu.

Kenya Commercial Bank (South Sudan) maintains a branch in Bentiu

After the destruction during the Second Sudanese Civil War, infrastructure in and around Bentiu is now being rebuilt.

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