More information about South Sudan is available on the South Sudan Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S.-SOUTH SUDAN RELATIONS
The United States recognized South Sudan as a sovereign, independent state on July 9, 2011, following its secession from Sudan. The United States played a key role in helping create the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that laid the groundwork for the 2011 referendum on self-determination, through which the people of South Sudan overwhelmingly voted for independence. Several disputes between Sudan and South Sudan remain unresolved post-independence, including demarcation of the border, status and rights of the citizens of each country in the other, and the status of the Abyei region. The United States supports the efforts of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel to help the parties work through these issues.
On December 15, 2013, longstanding political tensions between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice President Riek Machar erupted into widespread violence, which led to Machar’s fleeing the country. The United States supported the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in its mediation efforts between the parties, which resulted in the signing of the Agreement to Resolve the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015. In April 2016, Riek Machar returned to Juba and, under the terms of the ARCSS, participated in the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity. Progress on implementation of the Agreement was slow, and on July 8, 2016, fighting broke out between forces loyal to Kiir and forces loyal to Machar, and again Machar fled the country. In Machar’s absence, the government launched large-scale offensives throughout the country to consolidate its power, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis. During this time, abuses against civilians, including appalling levels of sexual violence, forced more than four million people to flee their homes. The number of people killed in the fighting in the post-independent period is estimated to be 400,000 as of early 2021, and approximately 8.3 million people required humanitarian assistance in 2021, an 11 percent increase compared to 2020. Relief agencies project that up to 7.9 million people – more than 65 percent of the country’s population – may need emergency food assistance from October 2021 to May 2022, making South Sudan
one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places in the world for aid workers, with more than 130 killed between 2013 and 2021. In February 2020, the parties formed the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU), and Machar returned to Juba. The South Sudanese government has shown limited political will to implement all chapters of the peace agreement. Late 2021 saw several milestones, including the formation of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and partial screening of the Necessary Unified Forces, and President Salva Kiir and other political elites stated publicly that South Sudan would hold national elections in 2023. President Kiir and First Vice President Machar, however, remain deadlocked over the command structure of the unified forces – a major piece of the 2018 peace agreement and a necessary component to holding national elections.
U.S. Assistance to South Sudan
The U.S. Government is the leading international donor to South Sudan, providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance such as food, nutrition, protection, clean water, and sanitation, as well as essential services such as food, nutrition support, emergency water and sanitation interventions, health care, and education to millions of South Sudanese citizens displaced or otherwise affected since the start of the crisis in December 2013. In Fiscal Year 2021, the United States provided more than $612 million in humanitarian assistance and $73.1 million in development aid to South Sudan. The U.S. Government also supports civil society and independent media to ensure that diverse voices are heard and supports activities in conflict mitigation, trauma awareness, and reconciliation. Restoring stability in South Sudan will require ending conflicts and addressing the grievances behind them; strengthening core institutions and improving governance transparency processes to make them more inclusive; fighting corruption; and responding to the expectations of the population for essential services and improved livelihoods.
The United States collaborates with multiple United Nations agencies, other donors, and nongovernmental organizations to assist those affected by ongoing violence.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States has no significant trade with South Sudan.
South Sudan’s Membership in International Organizations
With independence, South Sudan became the 195th country in the world, and the 193rd member of the United Nations. The UN Security Council established the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan in July 2011 to consolidate peace and security and to help establish conditions for development. The United States pays 27.8 percent of this Mission’s $1.2 billion July 2021 to July 2022 budget.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
South Sudan maintains an embassy in the United States at 1015 31st Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20007.
More information about South Sudan is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: