South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011, in the process becoming the world's 193rd country. It is a federal republic with ten states and is governed by a transitional constitution. This establishes a parliamentary regime in which the president is head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, while also retaining the power to appoint ministers, dissolve parliament and dismiss elected governors. Under the transitional constitution, the president's term lasts for four years to 9 July 2015. Parliament is dominated by members of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and does not play an influential role in policymaking. State governors wield significant political influence at local and sometimes national level.
KEY POLITICAL FIGURES
promotions within SPLA ranks. Pieng has opposed the appointment to high-ranking positions of officers formerly allied with the northern government against the SPLA.
Tensions with Sudan - The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 ended a two-decade conflict between northern and southern Sudan in which an estimated 2m people were killed. Following six years of power-sharing between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the SPLM/A, and a self-determination referendum in January 2011 in which the southern population expressed overwhelming support for secession, the autonomous region of South Sudan in July 2011 became the world's 193rd sovereign state. Although the run-up to southern independence occurred in a climate of heightened tensions after northern troops occupied the disputed territory of Abyei, and large-scale clashes in May-June 2011 between the northern army and SPLA affiliates in the Sudanese state of Southern Kordofan, the secession passed off without incident and with Sudan's blessing.
However, South Sudan's relations with its northern neighbor have since been fraught, and in April 2012 – less than 12 months after secession – the two countries appeared to be on the brink of renewed conflict. Failure to reach an agreement on a series of crucial issues by the time the South seceded – including the sharing of oil revenues, the demarcation of the two countries' shared border, the status of Abyei, and debt and citizenship issues – have driven tensions between the two countries. The preparedness of both governments to resort to military confrontation to exert pressure during negotiations, as well as a tendency to employ brinkmanship tactics, means there is a persistent risk that heightened tensions could spill over into all-out conflict. Only a comprehensive agreement on post-secession arrangements will ease tensions and reduce the likelihood of war. Despite reaching an agreement in September 2012 on trade, security and oil issues, significant obstacles to peace remain. Border disputes – particularly Abyei – remain among the most persistent obstacles, which also include the activities of rebel groups, the funding of proxy militias and citizenship questions.
CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION (OIL & THE ECONOMY)
South Sudan took 75% of the formerly united country's oil reserves when it seceded from the north. However, the united country's sole export terminal had been at Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast, and Juba could only export its oil through pipelines that run through Sudan following secession. After negotiations on how much South Sudan should pay its northern neighbor in transit fees faltered, Sudan in December 2011 confiscated a cargo of South Sudanese oil to make up for what it claimed were unpaid fees, prompting South Sudan to shut down oil production in January 2012 and plunging the South Sudanese economy into turmoil. South Sudan has since announced a number of plans to build alternative pipelines through Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. However, financing for an alternative pipeline has not been immediately forthcoming, and the proposed projects face a number of logistical and security challenges.
South Sudan restarted oil production in April 2013 after 14 months offline. The development followed agreements with Sudan in March 2013 over oil transit fees and the creation of a safe demilitarized border zone. Under African Union-mediated talks, South Sudan in September 2012 agreed to pay Sudan between $9.48 and $11 for every barrel of oil transported through Sudanese pipelines, as well as one-off fee of $3.028bn to compensate for Sudan's loss of revenue. After rising to around 200,000 bpd, the government in May 2013 announced that production had fallen to 105,000 bpd.
The country's economic problems have serious social implications. The World Bank predicts that the percentage of the population living in poverty will increase from 51% in 2012 to 83% in 2013; that child mortality rate will double from 10% in 2012 to 20% in 2013; and that school enrolment will drop from 50% in 2012 to 20% in 2013. All of this comes amid deepening food insecurity and a growing humanitarian problem caused by border fighting with Sudan.
Armed groups - The Second Sudanese Civil War was accompanied by an equally fierce civil war between various elements of Southern Sudanese society that saw the emergence of a multitude of armed groups and militias. Membership of such groups is extremely fluid and grounded in various combinations of ethnic affiliation, local cultural norms, conflict over resources and clientelism. Such groups include militias, foreign armed groups, self-defense units, pastoralist cattle raiding parties, heavily armed citizens, nomadic communities, private armies, disgruntled (former) SPLA members and criminal gangs.
Militias for the most part were integrated into the SPLA following the CPA, and their leaders were often given generous promotions, with the result that lines of loyalty within the SPLA remain fragmented. However, a number of disaffected high-ranking officers have taken up arms against the government in the hope that they will be reintegrated into the SPLA in a more favorable position. Such individuals at various points have included Lt-Gen George Athor, David Yauyau and Gabriel Tang-Ginye from Jonglei state, and Gatluak Gai, Gen Peter Gadet and Cul Jang from Unity state. These figures tend to operate in their areas of origin, where they can benefit from defections within local SPLA units and active or tacit support from the population to conduct guerrilla-style attacks against the army. Four out of these six rogue commanders have reportedly been captured (Tang-Ginye), killed (Athor and Gai), or apparently neutralized with amnesty offers (Yauyau). The status of the force of Gai, Athor and Tang-Ginye remains unclear. Gadet reportedly rejoined SPLA forces in August 2011..
The armed challenges to the government that have emerged since 2010 highlight the state's limited ability to control a vast territory with few resources. The government's posture towards these groups has proved inconsistent, shifting from military repression – which has caused significant civilian casualties and further alienated domestic constituencies – to political concessions, which provide incentives for other disaffected officers to rebel (not least because legal and peaceful opposition has had no influence over the authorities).
FUTURE PROSPECTS, CHALLANGES & LACK OF CAPACITY
Decades of civil war have left South Sudan with little civilian infrastructure and a dearth of human resources. The country's overall transport infrastructure is grossly inadequate and roads outside the capital Juba consist of rough tracks. These so-called 'seasonal roads' are impassable during the rainy season (May-November), posing severe impediments to business operations outside Juba. During the dry season, the poor quality of roads can create significant delays and make road transport unattractive. Power is also unreliable, including in Juba, forcing companies to use diesel-powered generators. Meanwhile, a lack of built residential and commercial space in the capital is creating upward pressure on rents.
In addition, the government lacks the capacity to administer the country because of high illiteracy rates (around 70%) and the weakness of institutions. Weak government capacity means that corruption is rife at both low and high levels. Companies frequently face significant delays in the delivery of permits and licenses. Few other major problems are listed below:
South Sudan suffers from a dire lack of infrastructure, which significantly drives up the costs of doing business and it’s a big hurdle in country’s progression. There are only 140 miles (225km) of paved roads in the entire country. Outside the capital Juba the road network largely comprises compressed earth roads or dust tracks. Many of these roads are impassable during the rainy season (late March-late November), posing a severe operational threat to business operations outside Juba. During the dry season, potholes, dust clouds, poor driving standards and the threat of road banditry can create significant delays and make road transport unattractive. Power and water supply are both inadequate, even in the capital, where most companies rely on diesel power generators. Outside Juba, generators and water reserves are needed at all times, including in state capitals such as Bor (Jonglei). Zain and Sudan Telecommunications Company are the two major providers of cellular services. The fixed-line telephone and fax systems are poor and in need of modernization. Internet provision is limited. It is expected that after installation of new pipeline via Kenya and investment from big oil companies (BP, Shell, Exxon) will improve economy and country infrastructure. It will ultimately result in betterment of living standards of normal citizen but still it’s a long process to bring economic revolution in the country.