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Germany and South Sudan: Bilateral relations

18.01.2021 - Article

Diplomatic relations between Germany and South Sudan were established on 9 July 2011, the day on which South Sudan became an independent state. Along with the USA, the EU and the UK, Germany is currently one of the largest donors in the sphere of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

The German Government’s support for stabilisation focuses on advancing the implementation of the peace agreement of 2018, improving rule-of-law structures, fostering reconciliation and strengthening civil society. The German contribution to the UN’s South Sudan Reconciliation, Stabilisation and Resilience Trust Fund is an integral part of these efforts. Furthermore, German soldiers are participating in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The Bundestag mandate allows for the deployment of up to 50 members of the Bundeswehr. Normally about a dozen are in fact in the country at any one time.

South Sudan has a population of over 12 million people. Roughly 8 million of these people are reliant on humanitarian assistance. This figure includes some 1.7 million internally displaced persons and an additional 2.3 million refugees in the neighbouring countries. The German Government provides support in the form of humanitarian assistance, and since 2017 has made available more than 370 million euro.

In the field of development cooperation efforts focus on helping particularly vulnerable groups, above all women and children, internally displaced persons, refugees and host communities, as quickly and effectively as possible. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) seeks to improve the living conditions of these groups and to enhance their resilience to future crises; it is using its crisis instruments with a view to achieving these aims. These crisis instruments and other measures are also being used to create structures that support the long-term development of the country, above all in the fields of food security and rural development, water supply and sanitation, and strengthening local administrative structures.

In the sphere of culture and education, a small but active scene involving literary figures, filmmakers, musicians and dance groups, is supported by the German Embassy in Juba, as is the annual Juba Film Festival.

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