After decades of violent struggle, the people of southern Sudan voted for independence in a referendum in January 2011. The referendum was the culmination of a six-year peace process which began with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. The Republic of South Sudan became independent from Sudan on 9 July 2011. The UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) was established in June 2011 to monitor and demilitarise the disputed border region of Abyei, between Sudan and South Sudan, as well as to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.
On 5 August 2018, parties to the conflict signed the Agreement on Outstanding Issues on Governance and Security Arrangements in Khartoum, Sudan. In September 2021, South Sudan opened its reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly, and took initial steps towards adopting a permanent constitution.
The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is dire. There are over four million people internally displaced or seeking refuge in neighbouring countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda). The UN estimates that around 75 per cent of the population is facing food insecurity and in need of humanitarian assistance. Australia has contributed humanitarian assistance since the outbreak of conflict in December 2013, and has a contingent of Australian Defence Force personnel who have been deployed with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) since its inception in 2011.
South Sudan has significant potential oil wealth, with large oil fields in its Upper Nile and Unity states.
Australia and South Sudan have strong people-to-people links, including a large South Sudanese diaspora resident in Australia.
Australia's diplomatic representation to South Sudan is from the Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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Australian Defence Force deployment to South Sudan
Embassies and consulates
- The Australian Ambassador to South Sudan is resident in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- South Sudan does not have any official representation in Australia