1. The Republic of South Sudan gained independence
from the Republic of Sudan on 9 July 2011. It was a day of celebration
for the South Sudanese who had fought two long civil wars with
the north since 1955 and had voted overwhelminglyby 98.83%for
independence in January 2011. Tens of thousands watched the new
country's flag raised at an independence ceremony in Juba. A host
of international dignitaries, including the President of Sudan
Omar al-Bashir, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and
the British Foreign Secretary the Rt Hon William Hague MP, watched
the events. Goodwill for the new country from the international
community was, and remains, huge. It was clear from our visit
to South Sudan five months later that a strong sense of optimism
still prevailed across the country. Many South Sudanese we spoke
to were hopeful about the future. Posters and billboards confidently
proclaimed the ambitions of the young republic.
2. Yet, as the initial euphoria of independence dies
down, it is clear that South Sudan faces a range of significant
and complex challenges:
- The new country has some of the worst social
indicators in the world, particularly in the health and education
- Years of conflict have left South Sudanese society
highly militarised, and fragmented, with frequent outbreaks of
- Up to 40% of government expenditure is defence-related,
primarily due to the large number of ex-soldiers on the payroll,
and demobilisation will be difficult.
- The economy is unhealthily dependent on a single
resource: oil represents 98% of government income, yet production
is expected to decline rapidly from the middle of the decade in
the absence of new discoveries.
- Government capacity at the national, regional
and local levels is extremely limited, corruption is widespread,
and the new country is heavily reliant on international donors
and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to provide services
for the population.
- Relations between Juba and Khartoum are tense,
with each side accusing the other of supporting rebel groups in
its territory and ongoing violence in Sudan's Southern Kordofan
and Blue Nile state could spill over into war.
3. The Department for International Development (DFID)
has quickly established and scaled up a full office in Juba. DFID
has developed a four-year development and humanitarian aid programme
for South Sudan, amounting to some £360 million. This makes
South Sudan one of the largest recipients of UK bilateral aid.
4. We announced our inquiry in September 2011 to
examine the prospects of peace and development in South Sudan,
with a particular focus on DFID's evolving programme of aid there.
We received written evidence from 22 organisations and individuals.
We held two oral evidence sessions in January and February 2012
with NGOs, academics, representatives of the South Sudanese Church
and Mr Stephen O' Brien MP, DFID Parliamentary Under-Secretary
of State, alongside his senior officials. We are grateful for
all those who contributed evidence, both written and oral.
5. We visited South Sudan from 5 to 10 December 2011
to see first-hand the challenges facing the country and how DFID
intended to spend its money. A sub-group of the Committee travelled
first to Khartoum to hear the perspective of the north Sudanese
on issues such as oil, returnees and conflict in border regions.
In Juba we held meetings with government ministers and officials,
including President Salva Kiir Mayardit, UN Mission in South Sudan
(UNMISS) officials, including the UN Special Representative of
the Secretary General, Hilde Johnson, and representatives of other
international donors, NGOs, the Sudan Council of Churches, and
the private sector. Two sub-groups of the Committee visited Eastern
Equatoria and Lakes states respectively to see DFID and EU-funded
projects and to meet state and county level politicians and local
NGOs. We wish to thank all those who helped facilitate our visit.
1 Our terms of reference were to examine: the extent
of humanitarian need, especially among returning South Sudanese
and those displaced by fighting in Abyei and Southern Kordofan,
and any problems with humanitarian access; the provision of basic
services, essential infrastructure and DFID's efforts to reduce
extreme poverty and promote sustainable livelihoods; how DFID
can help to improve governance, including at the county and local
level; the management of oil and oil revenues for development;
the role of the UN development and humanitarian organisations,
the World Bank, other bilateral donors and the extent of coordination
and leadership between them; the security situation including
the effectiveness of the UN peacekeeping force, UNMISS, and the
prospects for a non-militarised border; and the implications of
potential membership of the Commonwealth and the East African