Safety and Security:
A dispute between government security forces in Juba on December 16 rapidly escalated into armed conflict and spread to other cities. The government is not at this time in full control of the territory of South Sudan and insecurity is widespread. In addition to South Sudan’s internal conflict, care should be exercised in border states between South Sudan and Sudan where tensions exist due to the long, undemarcated border.
The Government of South Sudan has limited capacity to deter crime or provide security to travelers, especially outside the capital city of Juba.
The U.S. Embassy in Juba has implemented measures to protect U.S. government personnel living and working in South Sudan. These include requiring U.S. government personnel to travel in armored government vehicles at night, and to obtain advance permission for travel outside of Juba. As a result of the deteriorating security situation, the Department of State ordered the departure of most remaining U.S. government personnel from South Sudan on January 3, 2014. Similar measures are followed by the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and some non-governmental organizations with operations in South Sudan.
Land mines remain a hazard in South Sudan, especially outside of Juba. Visitors should travel only on main roads, unless a competent de-mining authority has marked an area as clear of mines.
The Embassy’s ability to provide consular services, including emergency assistance, in South Sudan is severely limited. Many areas of South Sudan are extremely difficult to access, and travel in these areas is sometimes hazardous. Less than 300 kilometers of paved roads exist in the country, which is the size of France. The infrastructure is extremely poor, and medical care is not always available or is very basic.