Last updated in August 2017
Germany officially recognised South Sudan immediately following the country’s declaration of independence on 9 July 2011. What had previously been the Juba Office of the German Embassy in Khartoum was subsequently upgraded to an embassy. Official bilateral development cooperation with South Sudan had, however, commenced as early as 2006, following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.
Germany provides EUR 83 million in development cooperation (DC), making it South Sudan’s fourth-largest donor after the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom. The Federal Government’s DC portfolio comprises a mixture of bilateral development cooperation, engagement by non-governmental organisations and foundations as well as cooperation with the United Nations (UN). At the German-South Sudanese intergovernmental consultations in April 2015, the existing programme priorities were confirmed. In the priority area Development of the Urban Water and Sanitation Sector, measures were extended beyond the already targeted cities of Yei (Central Equatoria) and Yambio (Western Equatoria) to include Torit (Eastern Equatoria). The priority programme Food Security and Development of Agricultural Markets operates in seven of the country’s ten constituent states and covers the following areas of action: availability of food, access to food, proper use of food and stability of supply. Given the weak performance of South Sudan’s government, the priority programme Strengthening Local Government Competence and Resilience is helping to support the implementation of the peace agreement. Besides official bilateral development cooperation, funding from the special initiative Refugees, Climate and Transitional Aid is being used to implement measures so as to benefit specific target groups.
In addition, the Federal Government supports civil society engagement through projects being conducted by German Agro Action, Malteser International, Johanniter International and Help. They are helping to improve the situation of internally displaces persons, mainly in the more stable areas, by providing water and sanitation, medical support and food. Support is also being given to the work of the Protestant and Catholic churches’ Central Agencies for Development Aid, which focuses on the key issues of reconciliation and trauma management. German engagement further covers support of the media through projects conducted by the Deutsche Welle Akademie (training local journalists).
German activities to protect human rights
The Federal Government supports the implementation of the peace agreement and the setting up of a hybrid court, administrative reform, decentralisation, the strengthening of independent media reporting and civil society as well as the development of a state based on the rule of law and a police force operating according to the same principles. By providing support for the country’s water supply and agriculture, Germany is helping to enforce the human right to water and food. The Federal Government has also assisted South Sudan in developing a strategy to disarm ex-combatants and militias and reintegrate them into civilian life.
The mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), which was launched in July 2011, includes a strong human rights component. Germany supports this peacekeeping mission by providing civilian, police and military personnel.
In spring 2014, the then Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, German Bundestag member Strässer, held talks with the South Sudanese government, UN agencies and civil society in Juba.