South Sudan is in a state of transition, as it recently became an independent nation and is recovering from many years of civil war with Sudan. Civil and governmental institutions are being developed with international assistance. If you are traveling or doing business in South Sudan, you may find it difficult to identify legal or administrative remedies if problems arise. We often do not get timely notification of the detention of U.S. citizens in South Sudan.
South Sudan’s official currency is the South Sudanese pound. You must be prepared to pay cash for all purchases, including hotel bills, airfares purchased locally, and all other travel expenses. South Sudan has no international ATMs, and local ATMs draw on local banks only. U.S. currency issued prior to 2006 is not accepted in South Sudan.
Photography in South Sudan is a very sensitive subject. It is strongly advised that you apply for a South Sudan Photo Permit through the Ministry of the Interior. In addition to filling out a form you will also need to submit: two passport size photos, a copy of the bio page from your passport and US $50.00.
Even with a permit, you must be careful taking pictures in South Sudan, as people have been arrested and even physically assaulted by police for using a camera. Please follow these simple rules to reduce the risk of being harassed or arrested:
Never take pictures of official/government buildings, vehicles, or persons in uniform.
Do not take pictures of infrastructure such as bridges.
Keep your camera concealed and do not take random photos in public.
Always ask a person’s permission before taking his or her photograph.
Always be courteous if someone shies away from having his or her picture taken.
Be prepared for people to react negatively if you are taking pictures in public or in crowds. If someone becomes hostile toward you, get out of that situation as soon as possible.