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.


  1. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) - Salva Kiir Mayardit (Sudan People's Liberation Movement – SPLM))
  2. Ruling party - SPLM
  3. Other parties - South Sudan Democratic Forum (SSDF); Sudan People's Liberation Movement – Democratic Change (SPLM-DC)


  1. President and Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) Commander-in-Chief Salva Kiir Mayardit - Kiir, a member of the Dinka Rek tribe, was a founding member of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in 1983. He held key decision-making positions throughout the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005), eventually becoming head of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the SPLM's military wing. The SPLM leadership chose Kiir to succeed John Garang following the latter's death in a plane crash in 2005. He was subsequently sworn in as first vice-president of Sudan and president of the autonomous south Sudanese government. On 9 July 2011, Kiir became the first president of the Republic of South Sudan and SPLAN commander-in-chief. Following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM and the Sudanese government in January 2005, Kiir acted as an arbiter between rival SPLM factions and gradually consolidated his own position. However, the passage of the transitional constitution in July 2011, which greatly increased his powers as president, revived tensions within the SPLM and the cabinet.
  2. Former vice-president Riek Machar Teny - Riek, a member of the Dok Nuer tribe, was an early SPLM/A member but defected from the movement in 1991 following a disagreement with then leader John Garang. Machar founded the SPLM-Nasir splinter group in 1991 alongside Lam Akol and Gordon Kong. Following the Khartoum Peace Agreement of 1997, he was made commander-in-chief of the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF), an umbrella grouping of southern militias allied to the Sudanese government. Both the SPLM-Nasir and the SSDF fought against the SPLA with the support of the northern government. Riek returned to the SPLA in 2002 and in August 2005 was appointed vice-president of the autonomous region of south Sudan following the signing of the CPA. In July 2011, his position was confirmed in the newly independent republic. However, amid rising tensions with Kiir, Riek was dismissed from the vice-presidency in July 2013. Far from silencing Machar, his dismissal has allowed him to exploit opportunities to criticize the government as he prepares for a bid for the party leadership and the national presidency in 2015. He remains one of the most influential members of the Nuer community.
  3. SPLA senior command - The persistence of armed challenges to the South Sudanese government and the SPLA's role as the country's main employer mean that the members of the army's senior command retain a significant, if opaque, role in key political decision-making. Its key members include Chief of Staff Lt-Gen James Hoth Mai (Nuer); First Deputy Chief of Staff for Moral Orientation Lt-Gen Obutu Mamura Mete (Equatorian); and Second Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration Lt-Gen Pieng Deng Kuol (Dinka Ngok), who is particularly influential in deciding

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.

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).

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:

  1. Legal system - The legal system is both complex and incomplete. The federal nature of the political system means that competing legislation exists on a variety of issues, notably land use. In parallel, the end of Sudanese sovereignty over South Sudan has left gaping holes in the regulatory environment because the South Sudanese authorities have failed to replace northern legislation with new texts. High levels of corruption and the weakness of institutions across South Sudan mean that laws are inconsistently applied. The judicial system is subject to significant degrees of political interference.
  2. Corruption - Corruption is a serious and pervasive problem at government level. High-level corruption, in the form of demands for large bribes and kickbacks, is rampant, an issue that even cabinet members acknowledge. Such corruption is a direct consequence of the weakness of institutions following decades of conflict and the historic resistance of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) leadership to institutionalization. Public procurement and the awarding of


  1. government contracts are reportedly the most significant sources of corruption in the south. Additionally, the lack of established accounting standards and a shortage of accounting skills among the local workforce mean that public spending is poorly managed.
  2. Labor issues - The significant brain drain and damage to educational efforts that South Sudan has experienced as a result of civil conflict have resulted in high rates of illiteracy (around 70%), which means that companies often face difficulties in recruiting qualified personnel. Tribal tensions between members of the workforce and perceived favoritism toward members of a particular tribe in the recruitment process can also prove challenging.
  3. Bureaucracy - Although delays at customs cause significant operational challenges to companies, many standard business procedures take less time in Juba than in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. In its 2011 Doing Business in Juba report, the World Bank gave Juba good rankings relative to its level of development in the categories of starting a business (123rd when assessed against the 183 countries covered in the World Bank's main Doing Business report), dealing with construction permits (49th), registering property (124th) and paying taxes (84th). However, bureaucracy at customs and numerous checkpoints on overland routes (in addition to the poor quality of infrastructure) make trading across borders extremely difficult (181st). The relative ease of dealing with bureaucracy in Juba is largely because of the lack of backlog within the administration given weak investor interest so far. Any surge in foreign investment would be likely to cause bureaucratic hurdles for companies.
  4. Land ownership - South Sudan's legacy of displacement means that land tenure is highly contentious and can pose significant challenges to investors, including in Juba. The violent campaigns of displacement that have accompanied oil development in Unity state, and continued environmental damage as a result of oil extraction, have led residents to stage frequent protests to demand compensation payments. Although land ownership across the south is communal, the army frequently attributes ownership of land without prior consent from local communities, which often fuels resentment. In Juba, the local Equatorian population is showing growing signs of discontent towards what it considers to be encroachment on its land by members of non-indigenous tribes, notably Dinkas, who have established themselves in the capital since the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

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.