Back

Country Reports

South Sudan Country Report

Content provided by
IHS Markit Logo

Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

A peace agreement signed on 12 September 2018 between President Salva Kiir and opposition leaders headed by Riek Machar significantly reduces the likelihood of renewed intense civil war combat over the next year, but with other leaders such as Thomas Cirillo excluded from the peace deal, and several instances of armed groups breaking the permanent ceasefire agreement, low-level endemic conflict is likely to continue. President Kiir's reluctance to implement power-sharing measures stipulated in the peace deal increases the risk of renewed intense civil war between the signatories of the 12 September 2018 peace deal, but this is unlikely to take place until the end of the rainy season in November unless opposition leaders arrive in Juba to partake in the transitional government with a proposed presidential protection force made up of both opposition and government troops. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s pivotal role in organising and guaranteeing peace talks between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, and the benefits to both countries from the ongoing resumption of oil production in South Sudan, greatly reduces the likelihood of interstate conflict. The deployment of a joint force of Sudanese and South Sudanese troops to protect oil fields in northern South Sudan decreases the likelihood of militant groups attempting to overrun South Sudan’s existing oil assets and disrupting production. South Sudan aims to produce 400,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of 2019 from a current output of 155,000 barrels, which has been boosted by the resumption of oil production at the Unity oil fields on 31 December 2018 and at the Toma South oil field on 25 August 2018. Widespread poverty and the proliferation of small arms generates a high risk of robberies in South Sudan, particularly for those travelling by road at night. Given weak security infrastructure, this risk is unlikely to abate for many years.
Last update: March 27, 2019

Operational Outlook

Significant operational risks exist in South Sudan. Corruption is endemic across the country’s economy and legal system, with little state capacity or will to combat such practices. In the unlikely event that the pluralistic transitional government is formed , opposing parties would likely mitigate elite corruption risks by offering a check to this rampant practice within the ruling SPLM. Regardless of the formation of a new government, corruption risks will remain very high over the next year. South Sudan has no active trade unions and does not have a history of environmental or social activism.

Last update: March 26, 2019

Terrorism

Severe

Civil war combat has effectively ceased since the 12 September 2018 peace deal between President Salva Kiir and main opposition leader Riek Machar, and the political and public will for peace in South Sudan reinforces this development. However, violence perpetrated by rebel groups that are not signatories to the recent peace deal and a loose chain of command within armed groups indicates that significant risks of militant attacks remain.

Last update: January 22, 2019

Crime

There is a significant risk of crime throughout South Sudan, but this peaks in the capital Juba, where crimes range from petty and opportunistic theft to physical violence, often attributed to security forces personnel. Petty theft risk is particularly high in the capital, Juba, due in part to the high cost of imported daily goods and the lack of hard currency for imports. The country's high level of gun ownership means the use of firearms is a common occurrence during robberies, home invasions (especially of compounds), and carjackings. The security forces are extremely weak and often complicit in robberies, with a very minimal presence outside the capital, and local systems of tribal justice are prevalent. High rates of poverty and unemployment are likely to continue driving crime.

Last update: March 26, 2019

War Risks

South Sudan is less likely to engage in interstate conflict with Sudan after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's pivotal role in South Sudan's 12 September peace deal and mutual interest in ensuring renewed oil production. Ceasefire and peace agreements signed by President Salva Kiir and main opposition leader Riek Machar mitigate civil conflict risks in Sudan over the next year, but armed confrontations between several groups are highly likely to continue. Kiir's reluctance to share power increases the risk of renewed intense civil war, especially if opposition leaders return to Juba to take part in a transitional government and there is a presidential protection force made up of opposition and government troops.

Last update: March 26, 2019

Social Stability

High

Long-standing inter-communal violence between members of the Murle ethnic group and the Nuer ethnic group – mainly cattle rustling and child abduction – will likely continue to pose a threat to inhabitants of Jonglei and Boma states. Popular protests outside Western embassies and United Nations property remain a risk, particularly following controversial foreign policy decisions, after hundreds in Juba protested against the 2 February 2018 arms embargo imposed on South Sudan by the United States.

Last update: January 22, 2019

Health Risk

Extreme

Vaccinations required to enter the country

This country has not stated its yellow fever vaccination certificate requirements.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).

Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

South Sudan suffers from both droughts and floods, the latter sometimes makes access to roads impossible.

Moreover, some seismic fault lines cross South Sudan, however, earthquakes are rare.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Very high

South Sudan is serviced by a few airlines, including Kenya Airways, Jetlink, Fly Dubai, and Ethiopia Airlines. However, all domestic flights and flights to and from Khartoum (Sudan) are operated by airlines on the EU's blacklist (Marsland, Sudan Airways, Tarco Air, and Sun Air).

The country only possesses around 100 kilometers of paved roads (essentially all located in or around the capital) and dirt roads, which comprise the vast majority of all roads present in the country, are often severely damaged during the rainy season.

Public transportation exists but is not very reliable and is often unsafe. The use of moto-taxis (boda-boda) is not advised.

No trains currently operate within the country.

It is advised to be cautious on the road, as South Sudanese citizens do not always respect road safety rules. Accidents and incidents are frequent.

The danger of traveling by road is increased by the non-observance of traffic rules by other drivers, the poor maintenance of vehicles, the poor quality of roads, and the lack of healthcare facilities. Moreover, all night travel should be avoided due to the lack of public lighting and traffic signs, as well as the presence of armed individuals stopping vehicles to rob their occupants. Outside major cities, all travel should be conducted with all-terrain vehicles (4x4) and with adequate supplies of water, food, and fuel. Travelers should also ensure that the vehicle contains mechanical spare parts (wheels, cables, etc.) and have effective means of telecommunication. Checkpoints are frequently set up at night, which may increase risks at any time (threats, extortion, etc.).

The Juba-Yei, Juba-Torit, and Juba-Nimole highways, are particularly dangerous due to the presence of armed men known for attacking civilians.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

South Sudan has a mostly tropical climate. Conditions are hot all year round, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C to 35°C. The rainy season lasts from May until October, during which period flooding is not uncommon.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +211
Police: 999
Fire Dept.: 999
Ambulance: 999

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019