South Sudan

Organisation Internationale Pour Les Pays Les Moins Avancés (OIPMA)
The International Organization for the Least Developed Countries (IOLDCs)

South Sudan

Region: East-Central Africa

Capital: Juba

Population: 10,625,176 (July 2012 est.)

Surface area: 644,329

Currency: CFA South Sudanese pound

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity 2134.30 US dollars in 2011

In South Sudan there are ongoing violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those involving the targeted killing of civilians, ethnically targeted violence, and widespread sexual and gender-based violence, including rape and gang rape.

TheA/HRC/37/71 report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan noted that some of the human rights violations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and that the conflict and violence in South Sudan includes attacks against civilians, the targeting of civilians on the basis of their ethnic identity, killings, abductions, torture, rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, deliberate denial of food, the looting and destruction of homes and villages, violence against children, the recruitment or use of child soldiers, and attacks on schools and hospitals

South-Sudan accounts for 140 incidents in recruiting and using children for hostilities. A number of 1,221 children, including 164 girls, were used by the fighters in 2017.

The children killed amounted to 36; 57 were maimed and 38 died due to unexploded ordnance.

Sexual violence (including rape) against girls affected 55, 13 of whom were gang-raped.

Attacks against schools and hospitals were 26 and 24 respectively. As a result of humanitarian access denial, 783 incidents occurred.

Historical/Political Overview

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 peace deal that ended Africa's longest-running civil war. An overwhelming majority of South Sudanese voted in a January 2011 referendum to secede and become Africa's first new country since Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1993. The new nation stands to benefit from inheriting the bulk of Sudan's oil wealth, but continuing disputes with Khartoum and a lack of economic development cloud its immediate future.

Human Rights

Despite progress made by the new Government of South Sudan to create a society where respect for human rights and democratic principles is ensured, challenges remain after a legacy of prolonged civil war and severe under-development. An inadequate legal framework, with many international human rights instruments yet to be ratified, makes it difficult for State agents to be held accountable and impunity is endemic. The Government has demonstrated a lack of tolerance for political opposition and the press, frequently restricting the freedoms of expression and the press and subjecting those who hold contrary political views to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention.

The human rights situation in the country further suffered from activities of rebel militia groups (RMGs), as well as inter-ethnic clashes, for example in Jonglei State. The latter has resulted in numerous deaths and the abduction of a large number of women and children. The arrival of returnees and refugees from the Sudan, drought, and overburdened resources has further deepened the humanitarian crisis.


Industry and infrastructure in landlocked South Sudan are severely underdeveloped and poverty is widespread, following several decades of civil war with the north. Subsistence agriculture provides a living for the vast majority of the population. Property rights are tentative and price signals are missing because markets are not well organized.

South Sudan has little infrastructure - just 60 km of paved roads. Mostly costly diesel generators produce electricity, running water is scarce. The government spends large sums of money to maintain a large army; delays in paying salaries have resulted in riots by unruly soldiers. Ethnic conflicts have resulted in a large number of civilian deaths and displacement.

South Sudan depends largely on imports of goods, services, and capital from the north. Despite these disadvantages, South Sudan does have abundant natural resources. South Sudan produces nearly three-fourths of the former Sudan's total oil output of nearly a half million barrels per day. The government of South Sudan derives nearly 98% of its budget revenues from oil. Oil is exported through two pipelines that run to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea, and the 2005 oil-sharing agreement with Khartoum called for a 50-50 sharing of oil revenues between the two entities. That deal expired on 9 July, however, when South Sudan became an independent country.

The economy of South Sudan undoubtedly will remain linked to Sudan for some time, given the long lead time and great expense required to build another pipeline. South Sudan also holds one of the richest agricultural areas in Africa in the White Nile valley, which has very fertile soils and more-than-adequate water supplies. Currently the region supports 10-20 million head of cattle. South Sudan also contains large wildlife herds, which could be exploited in the future to attract eco-tourists. And the White Nile has sufficient flow to generate large quantities of hydroelectricity. South Sudan does not have large external debt or structural trade deficits. South Sudan has received more than $4 billion in foreign aid since 2005, largely from the UK, US, Norway, and Netherlands, but Khartoum has imposed blockades on goods and capital going to South Sudan. The World Bank plans to support investment in infrastructure, agriculture, and power generation.

The Government of South Sudan has set a target for economic growth of 6% for the remainder of 2011, and expects 7.2% growth in 2012. Inflation stood at 8.6% in April 2011, with high fuel prices pushing up food prices. After independence, South Sudan's central bank plans to issue a new currency, the South Sudanese Pound, allowing a short grace period for turning in the old currency. Long term problems include alleviating poverty, maintaining macroeconomic stability, improving tax collection and financial management, focusing resources on speeding growth, and improving the business environment.