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CRS — The Crisis in South Sudan

January 22, 2014 Comments off

The Crisis in South Sudan (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In December 2013, growing political tensions among key leaders in South Sudan erupted in violence. While the political dispute that triggered this crisis was not clearly based on ethnic identity, it overlapped with preexisting ethnic and political fault lines and sparked armed clashes and targeted ethnic killings in the capital, Juba, and beyond. The fighting has caused a security and humanitarian emergency that may draw the world’s newest country into civil war. In response to the unfolding conflict, the international community is mobilizing diplomatic, humanitarian, and peacekeeping resources to protect civilians and facilitate an end to the violence. At the same time, many countries and aid agencies have evacuated their foreign nationals from South Sudan, and security concerns currently constrain the humanitarian response. Four U.S. military personnel were injured during an operation to evacuate U.S. citizens on December 21.

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Country Analysis Brief: Sudan and South Sudan

September 6, 2013 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Sudan and South Sudan
Source: Energy Information Administration

The unified Sudan has been producing oil since the 1990s. Most of the producing assets are near or extend across the de facto border between Sudan and South Sudan. When South Sudan became independent in July 2011, it gained control over most of the oil production. But South Sudan is landlocked and remains dependent on Sudan because it must use Sudan’s export pipelines and processing facilities.

In January 2012, South Sudan voluntarily shut in all of its oil production because of a dispute with Sudan over oil transit fees. Following South Sudan’s secession, Sudan requested transit fees of $32-36/barrel (bbl) in an attempt to make up for the oil revenue loss, while South Sudan offered a transit fee of less than $1/bbl. Tensions escalated at the end of 2011 when Sudan began to confiscate a portion of South Sudan’s oil as a payment for unpaid transit fees, and shortly after, South Sudan shut down production. After nearly 15 months of intermittent negotiations, South Sudan restarted oil production in April 2013. Despite the progress that has been made to reconcile differences, several unresolved issues remain and production may be curtailed again in the future.

Oil plays a vital role in the economies of both countries. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), oil represented around 57 percent of Sudan’s total government revenue and around 78 percent of export earnings in 2011, while it represented around 98 percent of total government revenues for South Sudan in 2011. The IMF projected that Sudan’s oil earnings substantially declined following the South’s secession. According to IMF estimates, oil accounted for 32 percent of total export earnings and 30 percent of Sudan’s total government revenue in 2012.

Country Analysis Brief: Sudan and South Sudan

March 21, 2012 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Sudan and South Sudan
Source: Energy Information Administration

South Sudan shut in its oil production just six months after gaining independence, as a result of an ongoing dispute with Sudan over transit fees and other post-independence issues.

State Department Background Note: South Sudan

September 25, 2011 Comments off

Background Note: South Sudan
Source: U.S. Department of State

Official Name: Republic of South Sudan


Government
Independence: July 9, 2011
Type: Democratic Government established by the declaration of independence on July 9th, marking an end of the interim period under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005 that provided for power sharing between the North and South.

Constitution: On July 9th, 2011, the Government of South Sudan will amend the December 2005 interim constitution. The new Transitional Constitution of South Sudan will come into force, subject to approval by the assembly, and further signed into law by the President. The draft transitional constitution has the approval of the Council of Ministers, and is due to be passed by the South Sudan Legislative Assembly. When passed, the new Constitution will be reviewed, in the future, by a representative National Constitutional Review Commission. This will involve a national consultation, gathering views from communities and stakeholders across the country.

Branches: Executive–executive authority is held by the president, who also is the prime minister, head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces. The executive branch also includes a vice president. Legislative—The National Assembly has TBD elected members.

Administrative subdivisions: Ten states, most with an elected governor, along with a state cabinet and elected state legislative assembly.

CRS — The Republic of South Sudan: Opportunities and Challenges for Africa’s Newest Country

August 16, 2011 Comments off

The Republic of South Sudan: Opportunities and Challenges for Africa’s Newest Country (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In January 2011, South Sudan held a referendum to decide between unity or independence from the central government of Sudan as called for by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the country’s decades-long civil war in 2005. According to the South Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC), 98.8% of the votes cast were in favor of separation. In February 2011, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir officially accepted the referendum result, as did the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the United States, and other countries. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan officially declared its independence.

The Obama Administration welcomed the outcome of the referendum and recognized South Sudan as an independent country on July 9, 2011. The Administration sent a high-level presidential delegation led by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, to South Sudan’s independence celebration on July 9, 2011. A new ambassador is also expected to be named to South Sudan.

South Sudan faces a number of challenges in the coming years. Relations between Juba, in South Sudan, and Khartoum are poor, and there are a number of unresolved issues between them. The crisis in the disputed area of Abyei remains a contentious issue, despite a temporary agreement reached in mid-June 2011. The ongoing conflict in the border state of Southern Kordofan could lead to a major crisis if left unresolved. The parties have yet to reach agreements on border demarcation, citizenship rights, security arrangements, and use of the Sudanese port and pipeline for oil exports. South Sudan also faces various economic, government capacity, and infrastructure challenges (see “Development Challenges”).
The United States maintains a number of sanctions on the government of Sudan. Most of these sanctions have been lifted from South Sudan and other marginalized areas. However, existing sanctions on the oil sector would require waivers by the executive branch. The U.S. Congress is likely to deal with these issues in the coming months.

Where do you find data on Southern Sudan?

July 17, 2011 Comments off

Where do you find data on Southern Sudan?
Source: World Bank

On July 9th, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan officially becomes an independent country. According to the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation (SSCCSE), South Sudan has a total population of 8.26 million people and a total area of 644,329 sq. km. More than half of the population is below the age of eighteen. And 51 percent of the population live below the national poverty line.

These data and much more are available from the SSCCSE’s website (http://ssccse.org). The website contains the Statistical Yearbooks for 2010 and 2009, a report on poverty from the National Baseline Household Survey (2009), a report on priority results from the 5th Sudan Population and Housing Census,  as well as other survey and statistical reports. Time coverage of the data varies on the site with most indicators available for 2008 and 2009. Some time series go back as far as 2003 and there are also indicators with data for 2010.

State Department Travel Warning: Republic of South Sudan

July 17, 2011 Comments off

State Department Travel Warning: Republic of South Sudan
Source: U.S. Department of State

This message renews and updates the security assessment in the June 22 Travel Warning for Sudan, for U.S. citizens in, or traveling to, the newly independent Republic of South Sudan.

The Republic of South Sudan separated from Sudan and became an independent nation on July 9, 2011. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to South Sudan, and recommends that you avoid all travel to the states in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan (Upper Nile, Unity, and Western Bar el Ghazai states in South Sudan; Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan; and the Abyei Special Administrative District). In recent months, skirmishes have broken out between forces loyal to the Government of Sudan and forces loyal to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in this region, and there has been a build-up of military forces along both sides of the border. In addition to fighting on the ground, the Sudanese air force has bombed areas in Unity and Southern Kordofan states.

You should exercise extreme care in all areas of South Sudan. In addition to the fighting in the border region, there are at least seven different rebel militia forces that frequently engage in violent clashes with SPLA forces in various areas of South Sudan; these clashes can flare up with little warning. The Government of South Sudan has limited capacity to deter crime or provide security to travelers outside of the capital city of Juba.

The risk of violent crime is high in Juba. Because of an increase in security-related incidents, the U.S. Embassy in Juba has imposed a curfew from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. to better ensure the safety of its personnel. In addition to the curfew, the Embassy has implemented other measures to protect U.S. government personnel living and working in South Sudan. These include requiring personnel to travel in armored government vehicles at all times at night, and to obtain advance permission for any travel outside of Juba. Due to security concerns, the spouses and family members of U.S. government personnel are not permitted to reside in South Sudan.

If you are currently working on humanitarian relief or development efforts in Juba, or anywhere in South Sudan, you should take prudent measures to reduce your exposure to violent crime, and should closely follow the security policies and procedures of your organization.

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