South Sudan Country Report
Fighting that broke out between former VP Riek Machar's and President Salva Kiir's forces in July 2016 in South Sudan's capital Juba continues with waring intensity nationwide. It is likely to intensify with ongoing political infighting notwithstanding ongoing peace attempts by South Sudan's neighbours. The Machar and Kiir forces are likely to continue fighting in the absence of a co-ordinated effort internationally, especially by neighbouring Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to exert pressure on both sides to end the conflict and fully respect the terms of the August 2015 peace accord. Fighting will be concentrated in Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Equatoria. However, oil production is likely to continue, albeit at lower outputs. Death-and-injury and property-damage risks remainhigh countrywide but even higher in battleground states.
Significant operational challenges increase investment risks in South Sudan. Ongoing civil war has resulted in large numbers of internally displaced persons, straining government resources. South Sudan has a large labour pool of unskilled workers, but a critical shortage of skilled labour. Strikes are rare with no active trade unions and South Sudan does not have a history of environmental or social activism. Transportation infrastructure and utilities are in poor condition owing to under-investment and a legacy of many decades of conflict. Corruption is endemic and serves as a major constraint on investment.
Continued fighting between government forces and rebel groups in Upper Nile, Equatoria, Unity, and Jonglei states is likely to intensify as splits within the government camp – defection of the former chief of army staff – emerge. Inter-ethnic rivalries are strained severely, with sporadic skirmishes peaking during the rainy season (June−September), posing risks of banditry and attack against UN assets, particular those in transit. Newly formed anti-government militias in Western Equatoria states increase the risk of attacks against land cargo, particularly those entering and exiting Juba via the Juba-Nimule road.
Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO)-affiliated militias associated with former vice-president Riek Machar are likely to continue fighting government forces loyal to President Kiir in the 12-month outlook, despite numerous IGAD-led peace talks initiatives. While fighting is likely to abate during the rainy season, both parties will continue to vie for control of oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile states. Unresolved disputes between Khartoum and Juba over the demarcation of border regions, oil transit fees, and proxy support for rebel groups remain probable triggers for interstate war.
Although popular opposition against the South Sudanese government has increased due to civil war, insecurity, corruption allegations, and rising inflation, organised non-armed political opposition is likely to remain weak. Ethnic rivalries, particularly between the Lou Nuer and Murle militias in Jonglei state, often trigger inter-communal violence, driven by historical grievances. Pro-government protests are likely against United Nations contingents in Juba and other towns, repeatedly accused by the government of providing a safe haven for rebel fighters. The large presence of internally displaced persons often leads to localised protests over living conditions, increasing risk of collateral harm to NGO personnel.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
This country has not stated its yellow fever vaccination certificate requirements.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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