Politics of South Sudan
As a region of the Republic of Sudan, South Sudan gained autonomy in 2005 with former rebel leader John Garang becoming the President of New Sudan and the Vice President of Sudan. Garang's death in 2005 led Salva Kiir Mayardit taking over as President and Riek Machar as the Vice President. Full independence from the Republic of Sudan was gained, following a referendum in 2011.
When Kiir sacked his entire cabinet in 2013, Riek Machar accused him of stepping towards a dictatorship and challenged him for Presidency, triggering a civil war.
In September 2018, a Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (A-RCSS) was signed, resulting to formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) initially for 24 months, was extended in August 2022.
Prior to autonomy and eventual independence, Southern Sudan was a region of the Republic of Sudan, which had achieved independence from the co-rule of Great Britain and Egypt in 1956. Sudan had been divided culturally and ethnically between the majority-Muslim Arab north and the majority-Christian Nilotic south. Southern leaders and members of the Sudan Defense Force cited oppression of the North as reason for growing tensions between the two regions. This led to the formation of the separatist Anyanya rebel army, who sought regional autonomy. The First Sudanese Civil War was a 16-year conflict between the Anyanya and the Sudan People's Armed Forces.
The war ended with the signing of the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement which granted autonomy to the Southern region of Sudan. After an 11-year period of resolution, then president Gaafar Nimeiry declared all of Sudan, including the autonomous Southern region, to be an Islamic state. This declaration ended the Addis Ababa Agreement and removed autonomy from Southern Sudan, sparking the Second Sudanese Civil War from 1983 to 2005.
After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (also known as the Naivasha Agreement) between the government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army, Southern Sudan regained its status as an autonomous region of the Republic of Sudan from 2005 to 2011, when South Sudan gained independence.
On 9th January 2005, the Government of Southern Sudan was established after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). John Garang, the former rebel leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement, became President of the Government of Southern Sudan and Vice President of Sudan. A constitution was adopted in December 2005.
2011 Southern Sudanese independence referendum
A referendum on independence for Southern Sudan was held from 9 to 15 January 2011.
Voting on the referendum began on 9th January 2011. On January 12th, after three days of voting, representatives of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) announced that, according to their estimates, 60 percent turnout threshold required for the referendum's validity (corresponding to around 2.3 million voters) had been reached. Official confirmation later the same day indicates that, when the referendum commission released a statement announcing that turnout would "exceed" the required 60 percent threshold.
Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, chairman of the referendum commission, said 83 percent of eligible voters in the south and 53 percent in the north had voted. Over 90% of those who voted supported independence, which was officially granted on July 9th. Salva Kiir Mayardit was appointed as South Sudan's first President, and Riek Machar was appointed as South Sudan's first Vice-president.
2013–2014 civil war and reform
In July 2013, Kiir dismissed all his Minister's, including Vice President Riek Machar, with the official aim of reducing the size of government. However, Riek Machar said it was a step towards dictatorship and that he would challenge Salva Kiir for the presidency.
On 14–15 December 2013, an attempted coup d'état was put down. Intermittent fighting then continued amid ceasefire breakdowns during the ensuing civil war and international concern grew over more than 1,000 deaths, a humanitarian catastrophe of over a million refugees, and man-made famine. In the meantime, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) factionalized into the SPLM-Juba led by President Salva Kiir and the SPLM-IO led by former Vice President Riek Machar. Kiir told the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly that Machar was to blame for the conflict. Amidst a party power struggle, the government was blamed by Pagan Amum for not allowing the unarmed opposition group Political Parties Leadership Forum and its leader Lam Akol from taking part in the negotiations. Kiir also dismissed his ethnic colleague Rebecca Garang, widow of the SPLM's founder John Garang, in August alleging her criticism made her anti-government. Relations with China, South Sudan's largest foreign investor, and Uganda also improved after the SPLM-IO visited Beijing and opened a liaison office in Kampala and accepted an Ugandan troop presence in Juba, in a move away from criticising Uganda's initial support for the government. De
Following sanctions against some of the leadership on both sides, including an arms embargo that was unknowingly violated by China's NORINCO until the sales were then canceled by the government who called for an end to hostilities, an IGAD-mediated resolution in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia under U.S.-led international pressure was finally agreed at the end of September 2014 that would institute federalisation in the country, a move that even less involved regional leaders in the country had suggested but the government had initially rejected. The talks were led by Nhial Deng Nhial and Deng Alor for the government and rebels, respectively. The rebels' lead negotiator was then due to be replaced by Taban Deng Gai. At the same time, the government expressed optimism at the resolution.
Both sides then agreed to the government's 30-month proposal for rule by a national unity government but discussions continued over the authority of the prime minister in the interim period. While the interim period was agreed, the pre-transitional period was still in dispute with the government wanting three months and the rebels asking for a month. SPLM-IO's Taban Deng said the negotiations were suspended, while the government's Michael Makuei confirmed this adding that it would resume on 16 October with the prime ministerial issue being referred to an IGAD heads of state summit for discussion. Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin criticised the rebels for allegedly not signing the protocol but also said of the break:
What has happened is that the negotiators have been asked to go back to their principals to consult on some of the issues where there is some concurrence. Some people seemed to agree on certain points. So they have to go back and consult with the principals. The interim government will be formed once you have a political solution. There must be a political agreement so that you have an interim government to implement what has been agreed upon. In principle that has been accepted by the government."
It also followed IGAD giving the groups 45 days from August to work out a transition agreement.
Fighting continued in end-October un Unity with expectations for fighting in Upper Nile, with both sides blaming each other; The Guardian claiming preparations were being undertaken for further fighting. At fighting near the compound of the United Nations, Juba, dozens of civilians were reported injured by UNMISS.
In mid-November, despite an agreement to unconditionally end the fighting, hostilities took place in three provinces with each side blaming each other. Further, the government rejected a proposal to abolish the post of vice president and replace it with a prime minister. Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomuro said: "The government delegation did not receive such proposal from IGAD. We only read it from the media reports attributing statements carrying such suggestions to the rebels, and I don't I understand the basis of the proposal."
The resolution, as announced by Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) entailed structures and functions of a Transitional National unity government that was "mostly agreed on." However, the "in principle" breakthrough after months of discussions on instituting a federalised structure of government was held up by the time frame for implementation. The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO ) called for immediate implementation, while the governing SPLM-Juba asked for a 30-month transitional period prior to the formation of a new administration. This would entail bypassing the scheduled 2015 election.
As part of the ceasefire agreement following the end of the South Sudanese Civil War, South Sudan began a transition towards federalism, overseen by Lasuba L. Wango, the Minister of Federal Affairs since 2020.
2020 onwards, Unity Government
To bring peace to South Sudan, President Salva Kiir and his former rival, Riek Machar formed a Unity Government in February 2020. The two-year deal included uniting their two armies, an act that by August 2022 had not yet occurred. The deal was due to expire on 22 February 2023, with a general election expected to follow, but in August 2022 the deal was extended and elections delayed until December 2024.
The Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (TCSS) was drafted in 2011 as a temporary document in place of a permanent constitution. It is the constitution of South Sudan until a permanent constitution is ratified. Because of the transitional nature of the TCSS, it favors a decentralized governmental system. Prior to the 2011 independence referendum, the Interim Constitution of South Sudan was the constitution of the then-autonomous Southern Sudan.
The National Legislature of South Sudan, the country's legislative body, is composed of the National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States.
The executive branch of government is headed by the president. Under the TCSS, the president's term lasts for two consecutive 5-year terms. However, in April 2015, South Sudan's parliament voted to extend Kiir's term to 9 July 2018. A new vote held in July 2018 further postponed South Sudan's first election until 2021. The president has vast powers in creating and dissolving state powers during times of emergency. Kiir demonstrated this power in the dismissal of his entire cabinet in 2013.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has named cabinet ministers, sharing power with ex-rebels in a key step in the peace process.
Kiir nominated 20 ministers, while SPLM-IO's Riek Machar nominated nine ministers. The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) nominated three ministers, Former Detainees nominated two ministers and other opposition political parties nominated one minister.
The new Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) is part of a peace agreement signed in September 2018 between President Kiir and several opposition leaders including Riek Machar, the new First Vice President.
- Ministry of Cabinet Affairs
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
- Ministry of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs
- Ministry of Interior
- Ministry of Peace Building
- Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
- Ministry of National Security
- Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
- Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology and Postal Services
- Ministry of Federal Affairs
- Ministry of East African Community Affairs
- Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
- Ministry of Petroleum
- Ministry of Mining
- Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
- Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries
- Ministry of Trade and Industry
- Ministry of Environment and Forestry
- Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
- Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development
- Ministry of Wildlife, Conservation and Tourism
- Ministry of Investment
- Ministry of Higher Education
- Ministry of General Education and Instruction
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Public Service and Human Resource Development
- Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development
- Ministry of Energy and Dams
- Ministry of Transport
- Ministry of Roads and Bridges
- Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare
- Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs
- Ministry of Culture, Museums and National Heritage
- Ministry of Youth and Sports
- "The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between The Government of The Republic of The Sudan and The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Sudan People's Liberation Army - Sudan". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
- "A Country Study: Sudan". The Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- "The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between The Government of The Republic of The Sudan and The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Sudan People's Liberation Army". reliefweb.int. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- "The Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan" (PDF). United Nations Mission In Sudan. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- "Official: South Sudan Voter Turnout to Reach 60 Percent Threshold". VOA News. 12 January 2011. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Sudan vote trend points at split – Africa". Al Jazeera English. Archived from the original on 18 January 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
- "South Sudan gripped by power struggle". Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "South Sudan Opposition Accuses Army of New Ceasefire Violation". VOA. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "South Sudan ceasefire violated, rebels and government say". BBC News. 11 May 2014. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "South Sudan rebels break ceasefire – Unmiss". BBC News. 21 July 2014. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Kulish, Nicholas (27 April 2018). "New Estimate Sharply Raises Death Toll in South Sudan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- Sam Jones (7 August 2014). "South Sudan atrocities amount to war crimes, report warns". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "OHCHR - Protection of South Sudan's one million internally displaced is eroding – UN expert warns". www.ohchr.org. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- "US Pledges Another $83 Million for South Sudan". VOA. Archived from the original on 3 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "A Man-Made Famine Is Looming In South Sudan". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "Concerns over South Sudan arms reports as famine looms: U.N." Reuters. 12 August 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "Kiir tells UN assembly Machar's "impatience" to blame for conflict - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- "Pagan Amum rejects involvement of new 'PPLF' delegation at peace talks | Radio Tamazuj". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-03.
- Wudu, Waakhe Simon. "South Sudan President Fires John Garang's Widow". voanews.com. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- Uganda, NTV. "HOME: NTV UGANDA". www.ntvuganda.co.ug. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- Gordon, Michael R. (6 May 2014). "U.S. Imposes First Sanctions in South Sudan Conflict". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- "South Sudan-related Sanctions". Archived from the original on 30 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "Embargoes and sanctions on South Sudan". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "China Halts Arms Sales to South Sudan After Norinco Shipment". Bloomberg. 30 September 2014. Archived from the original on 3 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "South Sudan's warring parties trade accusations of fresh attacks - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- "U.S. warns South Sudan: Strike a peace deal or face UN sanctions". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "South Sudan Factions Agree on Federal Government". ABC News. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "C. Equatoria governor: 'We stand for federalism'". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "South Sudan optimistic of peace deal with rebels". Sudan Tribune. Archived from the original on 1 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "IGAD Suspends South Sudan Peace talks". Archived from the original on 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
- Butty, James. "South Sudan Peace Talks Take Another Break". voanews.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- Dumo, Denis (27 October 2014). "Fighting erupts again in South Sudan; each side blames the other". reuters.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- Copnall, James (27 October 2014). "South Sudan's armies gear up as fighting season approaches". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- "South Sudan: 60 civilians injured in fighting near UN base". www.un.org. 27 October 2014. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
- "South Sudan clashes despite truce". BBC News. 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- "S. Sudan rejects proposal to scrap vice-president post - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- Wote, Charles (2021-11-26). "Federal affairs minister cautions anti-federalism". Eye Radio. Retrieved 2022-07-29.
- Mandil, Nichola (4 Aug 2022). "Africa Live: South Sudan delays elections". BBC News. Retrieved 2022-08-05.
- Gruss, Daniel (2010–2011). "A New Constitution for South Sudan". Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law 16: 73 – via HeinOnline.
- Dumo, Denis. "South Sudan parliament extends president's term by 3 years". U.S. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
- "South Sudan sacks entire cabinet". BBC News. 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
- Tamazuj, Radio (12 March 2020). "South Sudan's Kiir names cabinet". Radio Tamazuj. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
- Leonardi, Cherry (2013). Dealing with government in South Sudan: histories of chiefship, community & state. Eastern Africa series. Woodbridge, Suffolk: James Currey. ISBN 9781847010674.
- Henneberg, Ingo (2013). "Das politische System des Südsudans". Verfassung in Recht und Übersee. 46 (2): 174–196. doi:10.5771/0506-7286-2013-2-174.