South Sudan first state of the environment and outlook report

United Nations Environment Programme (2018)

South Sudan is a landlocked country that falls almost entirely (96 per cent) within the Nile River Basin in East-Central Africa. It is bordered in the north by Sudan; by Ethiopia and Kenya in the east; by Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the south; and in the west by the Central African Republic. It occupies an area of 658,842 km2. The country is covered by extensive grasslands, wetlands and tropical forests. Its natural assets include significant agricultural, mineral, timber and energy resources. The climate is mostly hot and dry, with seasonal rains that allow for two or three harvests a year in the country’s green belt. Apart from oil, however, its natural resources are largely unexploited and only 4.5 per cent of its potential arable land is cultivated. South Sudan is inhabited by a number of different ethnic groups, the largest of which is the Dinka, a traditionally pastoralist people that makes up 36 per cent of the population. It is followed by the Nuer, who constitute about one-fifth. Other groups include the Zande, the Bari, the Shiluk and the Anywa (Anwak). In total there are 64 ethnic groups in South Sudan. There is also a small Arab population in South Sudan. With less than 13 people per square kilometre, population density in the country is one of the lowest in Africa. Livelihoods in the northern dry areas are dominated by seasonal agriculture, pastoralism, fishing and hunting. The country is divided into three regions (the former historic provinces): Bahr el Ghazal in the northwest, Equatoria in the south and Greater Upper Nile in the northeast. There were ten states, which are now divided into thirty two.