Country Reports

South Sudan Country Report

Content provided by
IHS Markit Logo

Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

A peace agreement signed on 12 September 2018 between President Salva Kiir and opposition leaders headed by Riek Machar has reduced the likelihood of renewed intense civil war combat, but with other militia 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 means that a high risk of renewed intense civil war remains, but this would be unlikely to happen until the end of rainy season in November when opposition leaders are due to arrive in Juba to partake in the transitional government with a proposed presidential protection force made up of both opposition and government troops.Sudan's reliance on South Sudanese oil exports greatly reduces the likelihood of interstate conflict between the two countries. This remains unchanged despite Omar al-Bashir's removal as Sudan's President on 11 April.Insecurity in Sudan has likely drawn Sudanese troops away from a joint force of Sudanese and South Sudanese troops that protects oil fields in northern South Sudan, which would increase the likelihood of militant groups attempting to overrun South Sudan’s existing oil assets and disrupting production.Increasing oil production is a top government priority. Having awarded South African's state-owned Strategic Fuel Fund Block B2 on 6 May and reportedly holding talks with several Russian oil companies that same month, it aims to produce 400,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of 2019. This would significantly increase its current output, which the Minister of Petroleum stated was 175,000bpd in early May.Widespread poverty and the proliferation of small-arms generate 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: June 15, 2019

Operational Outlook

Significant operational risks exist in South Sudan. Corruption is endemic, with little state capacity or will to combat such practices. In the unlikely event that a truly representative transitional government is formed , opposing parties would, to a small extent, 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: June 15, 2019



Civil war combat has greatly reduced since the 12 September 2018 peace deal between President Salva Kiir and main opposition leader Riek Machar; the six-month extension to the pre-transitional period, agreed by Machar and Kiir on 3 May 2019, reduces the likelihood of increased rates of violence over the six-month outlook. However, violence perpetrated by rebel groups that are not signatories to the recent peace deal indicates that significant risks of militant attacks remain, and the establishment of a transitional government, due in November 2019, would increase the likelihood of civil war combat in Juba because fighters loyal to each of South Sudan’s leaders would be stationed in the city.

Last update: June 21, 2019


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: June 14, 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 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: May 11, 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 remain a risk 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: May 11, 2019

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