South Sudan won its independence in July 2011 in a landmark referendum at the end of a six-and-a-half year interim period following the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) of 2005. The CPA had brought an end to decades of intermittent civil war reaching back to 1955, which had cost millions of lives.

While progress remains fragile, South Sudan has enjoyed increasing levels of stability and prosperity during the CPA interim period and since independence. Large-scale internalconflict has markedly decreased. Initiatives have been put in place to address inter-tribal clashes recurring in some parts of the country and to reduce conflict around access to resources. Relations with Sudan, however, remain uncertain as agreementson outstanding CPA issues still need to be fully implemented.

Over the past years, South Sudan has established key institutions of the executive, judiciary and legislative, which increasingly start to perform their core functions. Basic legal frameworks for public services and private sector development are being put in place. A number of key reforms, for example in natural resource management or the security sector, are still pending. Implementation performance varies, as capacity for public administration needs to be significantly strengthened, particularly at sub-national levels.