South Sudan

Republic of South Sudan
Population 11,000,128 (2015 South Sudan National Bureau of Statistic)
Independence 2011, Sudan
Languages English (official), Arabic, Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk
Form of government Republic
GDP (2014) $73.82 billion; per capita: $4.300

 

South Sudan is a landlocked east African country that shares borders with Ethiopia to the east, Kenya to the southeast, Uganda to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, the Central African Republic to the west, and Sudan to the north. It gained its independence from Sudan in 2011, six years after a peace agreement ended Africa’s longest civil war. From 1955 to 1972 and 1983 to 2005, prolonged conflict in Sudan between the central government in Khartoum and quasi-autonomous rural regions led to more than 2.5 million deaths and widespread poverty.

Despite a peaceful secession from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan plunged into crisis in December 2013 amid a political power struggle. Fighting between ethnic factions erupted, resulting in 10,000 deaths and more than two million people displaced. In 2014, the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan shifted its mandate from statebuilding to civilian protection.

Peace talks were launched in Ethiopia in August 2014 amid continued fighting, but collapsed six months later. Elections planned for June 2015 were called off due to security concerns and delays in ratifying a national constitution. South Sudan’s instability was compounded in 2015 by a severe food crisis, which is predicted to worsen as fighting continues.

Government Title Name
President H.E. Salva KIIR Mayardit
Prime Minister Hon. Mr. Stephen Dhieu Dau Ayik
Minister of Finance and Planning H.E. David Deng Athorbei
g7+ Focal Point Mr. Moses MABIOR, Director of Aid Coordination

New Deal Implementation

South Sudan joined the g7+ in 2010 and has endorsed the New Deal. A fragility assessment was completed in 2012, leading to New Deal Compact negotiations, but the process has been suspended until a lasting peace agreement is in place. South Sudan hosted the first g7+ ministerial meeting in 2011.

 

The President is the chief of state and head of government. The president is elected by popular vote to four-year term. The last elections were held in 2010; the next round of elections have been postponed due to security concerns, but are expected in 2017 or 2018. The cabinet is the Council of Ministers, whose members are appointed by the president and approved by the Legislative Assembly.

The parliament is the bicameral National Legislature, composed of a 50-member Council of States and 332-member National Assembly. The Council of States includes 20 former members of the previous council and 30 members appointed by the President; the National Assembly includes a combination of former legislators, appointed legislators, and elected representatives. The ruling party dominates national politics, holding 90% of seats in the National Assembly.

South Sudan’s 10 states are each governed by a local governor and a state assembly, who are granted significant autonomy. The ruling party holds 9 out of 10 state governorships.

South Sudan’s nascent government faces significant challenges to socioeconomic development. Country systems are weak and provision of social services is prevented by lack of infrastructure and widespread insecurity. An estimated 70 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 17 have never attended school. Health outcomes are poor; maternal mortality in South Sudan is the highest in the world.

High global food prices, a worsening economy, and drought conditions, coupled with ongoing conflict, have caused rampant hunger. It is estimated that the number of people facing severe food insecurity doubled from January 2015 to July 2015, to 4.6 million people—more than one-third of the population.

Insecurity is the primary barrier to socioeconomic improvement. Security forces have been accused of carrying out civilian attacks, destruction of property, and sexual violence, driven primarily by ethnicity. Movement within the country is restricted by outbreaks of violent fighting, and 2 million people are displaced.

Despite widespread poverty, South Sudan has a higher per capita GDP than its east African neighbors. South Sudan is rich in natural resources, particularly oil and gas: Nearly 98% of South Sudan’s domestic revenue is generated from oil exports. The ongoing conflict, however, has caused disruptions to production, and revenue has declined by up to 75% since 2012. Most of the population relies on subsistence agriculture and livestock production for livelihoods. South Sudan has fertile soil and abundant water resources, though it is estimated that only 4% of its arable land is under cultivation.

High rates of inflation have plagued the country’s efforts to pursue macroeconomic stability. The ongoing crisis has disrupted already weak markets, and foreign currency reserves are extremely low. Weak property rights and land policy, an insufficient legal system, and limited human capital are constraints to economic growth. The Government of South Sudan established a “one-stop shop” Investment Center in 2013 to promote private investment and reported early gains, but investment has slowed due to the conflict. Several legislative reforms have been passed in parliament to improve regulatory transparency and ease of doing business, and are awaiting presidential signature.