Country Reports

South Sudan Country Report

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Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

South Sudan's Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) was formed on 22 February with the incumbent Salva Kiir retaining the presidency and former main opposition leader Riek Machar installed as first vice-president. Kiir made several concessions, such as granting Machar's SPLM-IO faction control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Ministry of Defence, but controls key government functions such as oil and gas revenue and appointment of regional governors.The 2018 peace agreement and consistent defections of senior military commanders from Machar’s SPLM-IO to Kiir’s SPLM indicate that there is a low likelihood of renewed intense civil-war combat that disrupts oil production. However, the National Salvation Front (NAS) is excluded from the 2018 peace deal and fights against government troops and SPLM-IO fighters in the Equatoria regions after a January 2020 ceasefire failed.Sudan's reliance on South Sudanese oil exports and the likely international condemnation of any Sudanese attack against South Sudan greatly reduce the likelihood of interstate conflict between the two countries. The fixed oil-transit fee with Sudan until 2022 is a fixed price, suiting South Sudan in a high oil price environment; the March 2020 reduction in oil prices indicates that South Sudan’s state revenues will be greatly reduced this year compared with in 2019. South Sudan postponed a licensing bid round that was scheduled for March 2020. Previously expected wildcat drilling during 2020 at shut-in fields and an increase in oil production from around 175,000 barrels per day in mid-2019 are now unlikely as much exploration and production becomes uneconomical. Low oil receipts have caused inflation and severe foreign-currency shortages, driving up the already-high prices of goods including water and food.
Last update: September 26, 2020

Operational Outlook

Significant operational risks exist in South Sudan. Corruption is endemic, with little state capacity or will to combat such practices. If a unity government is formed as planned, opposing parties will, to a small extent, likely mitigate elite corruption risks by offering a check to this rampant practice within government. 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: February 19, 2020



Civil war combat has greatly reduced since the 12 September 2018 peace deal between President Salva Kiir and main opposition leader Riek Machar. However, violence perpetrated by rebel groups that are not signatories to the recent peace deal indicates that significant risks of militant attacks remain. The establishment of a transitional government, due in February 2020, would increase the likelihood of civil war in Juba because fighters loyal to each of South Sudan’s rival leaders would be stationed in the city and disputes between Kiir and Machar over the composition of South Sudan's army and internal borders would be likely.

Last update: November 23, 2019


There is a significant risk of crime throughout South Sudan, but this peaks in the capital Juba, where crimes ranging from petty and opportunistic theft to physical violence are often attributed to security forces personnel. Petty theft risk is particularly high in Juba due in part to the high cost of imported daily goods and a 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 non-state justice systems are prevalent. High rates of poverty and unemployment are likely to continue incentivising criminality.

Last update: October 9, 2019

War Risks

South Sudan is unlikely to engage in interstate conflict with Sudan due to both countries' financial interest in ensuring renewed oil exports from South Sudan to Sudan. Ceasefire and peace agreements signed by President Salva Kiir and main opposition leader Riek Machar mitigate civil conflict risks in South Sudan, but armed confrontations involving groups not signatory to the peace deal are highly likely to continue. If the transitional government forms as scheduled in February 2020, opposition leaders will return to Juba security details made up of their own fighters, which rival the government's, increasing the likelihood of resumed civil war.

Last update: November 23, 2019

Social Stability


Long-standing inter-communal violence – 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 are unlikely but would become increasingly likely following controversial policy decisions regarding South Sudan by foreign actors. For example, hundreds in Juba protested against the 2 February 2018 arms embargo imposed on South Sudan by the United States.

Last update: February 8, 2020

Health Risk


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


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


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


Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019