South Sudan Issues - 2023


Disputes - international

South Sudan- Central African Republic: periodic violent skirmishes persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic over water and grazing rights

South Sudan-Democratic Republic of the Congo: none identified

South Sudan-Ethiopia: the unresolved demarcation of the boundary and lack of clear limitation create substantial room for territorial conflict both locally among the border populations and between the two capitals; besides a large number of indigenous farmers, the border region supports refugees and various rebel groups opposed to the governments in Khartoum and Addis Ababa

South Sudan-Kenya: two thirds of the boundary that separates Kenya and South Sudan's sovereignty known as the Ilemi Triangle has been unclear since British colonial times; Kenya has administered the area since colonial times; officials from Kenya and South Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding on boundary delimitation and demarcation and agreed to set up a joint committee; as of July 2019, the demarcation process was to begin in 90 days, but was delayed due to a lack of funding

South Sudan-Sudan: present boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, which clearly placed the Kafia Kingi area (adjacent to Central African Republic) within South Sudan as shown on US maps although it is mostly occupied by Sudan; final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; the final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan; clashes continue in the oil-rich Abyei region; the United Nations interim security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) has been deployed since 2011, when South Sudan became independent, Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting Sudanese rebel groups

South Sudan-Uganda: none identified

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 139,912 (Sudan) (refugees since 15 April 2023), 11,503 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2023)

IDPs: 2.23 million (alleged coup attempt and ethnic conflict beginning in December 2013; information is lacking on those displaced in earlier years by: fighting in Abyei between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in May 2011; clashes between the SPLA and dissident militia groups in South Sudan; inter-ethnic conflicts over resources and cattle; attacks from the Lord's Resistance Army; floods and drought) (2023)

stateless persons: 10,000 (2022)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating:

Tier 3 — South Sudan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore it remains on Tier 3; the government took some steps to address trafficking, including convening an inter-ministerial task force, finalizing a National Action plan, and conducting awareness activities; however, there was a government policy or pattern whereby security and law enforcement officers continued to forcibly recruit child soldiers and did not hold any members criminally accountable for these unlawful acts; for the tenth consecutive year, there were no reported investigations into or prosecutions for forced labor or sex trafficking; officials did not report identifying or assisting any victims and continued to penalize victims for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit (2022)

trafficking profile: traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in South Sudan and South Sudanese abroad; women and girls, particularly from rural areas or internally displaced, are vulnerable to domestic servitude, and some are exploited by males in the households in sexual abuse or trafficking; South Sudanese girls are exploited in sex trafficking in restaurants, hotels, and brothels—sometimes involving corrupt law enforcement officials; some children are coerced to work in begging, herding, construction, and a wide range of physically demanding labor sectors; men and women recruited from neighboring countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Republic of the Congo, and Uganda, as well as South Sudanese women and children are recruited with fraudulent employment offers in hotels, restaurants, and construction and forced to work for little or no pay or coerced into commercial sex; government forces use children to fight or serve in support roles; several milliion internally displaced persons and South Sudanese refugees living in neighboring countries are at risk of trafficking, and unaccompanied children in the camps are vulnerable to abduction by sex and labor traffickers (2022)

NOTE: The information regarding South Sudan on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of South Sudan 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about South Sudan 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 10 Nov 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.