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The unique structure of the SPLA means that the same kleptocratic principle applies to local leaders and army commanders in rural areas. This generates the “rent-seeking rebellion” cycle:

The level of fatalities among soldiers and civilians is completely disproportionate to the claims of the rebel leader or mutineer.

This in turn [...]

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In 1968, the Polish political scientist Stanislav Andreski wrote, “The essence of kleptocracy is that the functioning of the organs of authority is determined by the mechanisms of supply and demand rather than the laws and regulations.”

Corruption in an institutionalized system of governance is the abuse of public office for private gain. In a [...]

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In January 2012, as a response to a dispute with the Government of Sudan on the terms in which South Sudanese oil was to be transported to market—and as a reaction to the Sudanese authorities diverting its oil to their own refineries and ships—the Government of the Republic of South Sudan decided to shut down [...]

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It is important to remember that at the time when the CPA was signed, the SPLA had not won the war. It had not defeated the Sudanese Armed Forces and was not even the largest southern Sudanese armed group—if the diverse militia that comprised the South Sudan Defence Forces were combined together, they would rival [...]

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There are 745 generals in the SPLA. That’s 41 more than in the four U.S. services combined, and second only to Russia’s 887 generals and admirals in the world.

The following graph represents the best estimate for the numbers on the SPLA payroll, plus the Southern Sudan Police Service (which numbers 48,000-50,000). The [...]

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The conventional explanation for South Sudan’s weak performance is that it lacked capacity. That was the premise on which international donors began major capacity-building programs immediately after the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. But how public money is actually spent suggests something else.

The following figure, from the World Bank, “Public expenditures in South Sudan: [...]

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