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South Sudan — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in South Sudan is 720,0001 2 to 3,000,0003

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in South Sudan is 28.234

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of South Sudan are reported to have 250,0005 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in South Sudan are reported to have 48,200 to 67,2005 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

In South Sudan, annual homicides by any means total

2012: 1,5046

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn South Sudan, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2013: 21.32
2012: 13.707

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

In South Sudan, annual male homicides by any means total

2012: 1,2418

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

In South Sudan, annual female homicides by any means total

2012: 2638

Gun Homicides

In South Sudan, annual firearm homicides total

2012: 2087

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

In South Sudan, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2012: 1.994

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

In South Sudan, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2012: 14%6

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In South Sudan, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is prohibited, except for official government manufacturers9 10 11 12

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In South Sudan, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law13 14 15

Firearm Imports

In South Sudan, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law11 16 10 13 14 15

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in South Sudan is high17

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In South Sudan, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law11 10 13 18

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in South Sudan include14 requirements for certification providing details of the intended end user and/or end use of firearms and ammunition transfers

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in South Sudan includes the Firearms Bill of 2016,19 20 and its regulation,21 the Police Act of 2009, and the Southern Sudan Police Service Regulations of 201022

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in South Sudan are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior, the Central Registry of Firearms,13 the Police23 and the Southern Sudan Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control24 25

Right to Possess Firearms

In South Sudan, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law26 27

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In South Sudan, civilians are not allowed to possess all firearms, except handguns of a calibre not exceeding .22mm and shotguns28

Regulation of Handguns

In South Sudan, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence28

Law Regulates Long Guns

In South Sudan, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law28

Gun Ownership and Possession

In South Sudan, only licensed gun owners10 29 30 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in South Sudan is 45 years31 18

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in South Sudan must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, and addiction31 18 records

Firearm Safety Training

In South Sudan, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required31 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In South Sudan, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year32

Licensing Records

In South Sudan, authorities maintain a record33 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in South Sudan are permitted to possess 20 rounds of ammunition34

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In South Sudan, the law requires35 13 33 36 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In South Sudan, licensed firearm dealers are required13 37 38 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In South Sudan, licensed gun makers are required38 12 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In South Sudan, State agencies are required36 22 39 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In South Sudan, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited11

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In South Sudan, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful11 37 10 40

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in South Sudan include34 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in South Sudan include37 41 34 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in South Sudan include36 42 22 43 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in South Sudan include44 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In South Sudan, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law45 36 17 22 43 39 46 47

Firearm Tracing

In South Sudan, state authorities carry out13 17 46 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In South Sudan, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited40 48

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In South Sudan, carrying a concealed handgun in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit40

Gun Free Zones

In South Sudan, private guns are prohibited in places of worship, hospitals, markets or public places, schools, courts of law, night clubs, bars and restaurants49

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In South Sudan, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm50 is 10 years in prison and/or a fine51 10 52 33 37

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in South Sudan are known to have53 54 55 56 57 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

In South Sudan, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2014: 6,00058

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In South Sudan, it is state policy36 59 22 43 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

South Sudan is a member of the African Union60 61

Regional Centre on Small Arms

In March 2000, members of the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) adopted the Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa. On 21 April 2004, they adopted the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States, a legally-binding multilateral protocol of which the RECSA is depository. The Nairobi Protocol has since been signed, but not yet ratified62 63 by South Sudan

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was not signed64 by South Sudan.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed65 by South Sudan

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has not been signed66 by South Sudan

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, South Sudan committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects67

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In South Sudan, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated68 69

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In South Sudan, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated68 70

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of South Sudan submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was not apparent68

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, South Sudan has not declared71 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, South Sudan has been a Member State of the United Nations since 201172

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list73 South Sudan as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

For a profile of conflict in South Sudan, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Global Peace Index

To see where South Sudan ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


Short References

1.

Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment.2009.‘Estimated Firearms Inventories in Sudan, December 2009.’ Supply and Demand: Arms Flows and Holdings in Sudan.Geneva:Small Arms Survey,1 December. (Q6588)Full Citation

2.

UNODC.2014.‘South Sudan.’ 2013 Global Study on Homicide.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,21 April. (Q8493)Full Citation

3.

Duke, Geoffrey L.2013.‘Marking, Amnesty, Number of Firearms Held by Civilians.’ E-mail from SSANSA National Coordinator.Juba:South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA),11 February. (Q6574)Full Citation

4.

GunPolicy.org.2015.‘Calculated Rates - South Sudan.’ Historical Population Data - USCB International Data Base.Suitland, MD:US Census Bureau Population Division,26 May. (Q6620)Full Citation

5.

Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment.2012.‘Estimated Force Strengths and Arms Holdings among South Sudanese Forces.’ Reaching for the Gun: Arms Flows and Holdings in South Sudan.Geneva:Small Arms Survey,1 April. (Q6592)Full Citation

6.

UNODC.2014.‘Homicides and Gun Homicides in South Sudan.’ Global Study on Homicide 2013: Trends, Context, Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),10 April. (Q9948)Full Citation

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UNODC.2017.‘Intentional Homicide Victims.’ Crime and Drugs Data.Vienna:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,19 May. (Q13355)Full Citation

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9.

South Sudan.2016.‘Manufacture and Repair of Firearms and Ammunition.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12130)Full Citation

10.

South Sudan.2016.‘Duty to Carry Licence.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12127)Full Citation

11.

South Sudan.2016.‘Application for a Firearm Licence for Trade.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12132)Full Citation

12.

South Sudan.2014.‘Manufacture.’ National Report of South Sudan on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of South Sudan to the United Nations,1 January. (Q12853)Full Citation

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South Sudan.2016.‘Powers and Functions of Registry.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12123)Full Citation

14.

South Sudan.2014.‘International Transfers.’ National Report of South Sudan on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of South Sudan to the United Nations,1 January. (Q12854)Full Citation

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16.

South Sudan.2016.‘Importation and Exportation of Firearms and Ammunition.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12142)Full Citation

17.

Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment.2012.‘Key Findings.’ Reaching for the Gun: Arms Flows and Holdings in South Sudan.Geneva:Small Arms Survey,1 April. (Q6589)Full Citation

18.

South Sudan.2014.‘Brokering.’ National Report of South Sudan on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA).New York NY:Permanent Mission of South Sudan to the United Nations,1 January. (Q12857)Full Citation

19.

South Sudan.2016.‘Title and Purpose.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12120)Full Citation

20.

Radio Tamazuj (Sudan). 2016. ‘South Sudan Parliament Resumes Sitting After Four Weeks.’ 12 April. (N660) Full Citation

21.

South Sudan.2016.‘Regulations.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12148)Full Citation

22.

King, Benjamin.2014.‘Existing National Legislation and Regulations pertaining to Surplus Management and Disposal.’ Excess Arms in South Sudan: Security Forces and Surplus Management.Geneva:Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva,1 April. (Q8494)Full Citation

23.

South Sudan.2016.‘Registrar of Firearms.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12125)Full Citation

24.

South Sudan.2008.‘Section 6: Establishment of the Bureau.’ Draft Mandate of the Southern Sudan Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control.Juba:Government of Southern Sudan,1 January. (Q6583)Full Citation

25.

South Sudan.2016.‘Government Agencies Responsible for Firearms Control.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12137)Full Citation

26.

Sherman, Amy and Tom Ginsburg.2014.‘Gun Rights in National Constitutions.’ Marco Rubio Says Second Amendment Is Unique in Speech to NRA.Miami, FL:Miami Herald (PolitiFact Florida),29 April. (Q8507)Full Citation

27.

Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg and James Melton. 2013. ‘U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism.’ Bloomberg (USA). 7 March. (N422) Full Citation

28.

South Sudan.2016.‘Firearms Allowed to be Licensed for Private Use.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12135)Full Citation

29.

South Sudan.2016.‘Application for Temporary Permits for Hunting and Sport.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12134)Full Citation

30.

South Sudan.2016.‘Exemption from Holding a Firearm Certificate.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12136)Full Citation

31.

South Sudan.2016.‘Eligibility to Own a Firearm.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12131)Full Citation

32.

South Sudan.2016.‘Validity of Firearm Licence.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12126)Full Citation

33.

South Sudan.2016.‘Information to Be Contained in the Firearms Register.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12124)Full Citation

34.

South Sudan.2016.‘Ammunition.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12146)Full Citation

35.

South Sudan.2016.‘Establishment of Central Registry of Firearms.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12122)Full Citation

36.

South Sudan.2016.‘Stockpile Management.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12128)Full Citation

37.

South Sudan.2016.‘Obligations of Dealer, Gunsmith, Importer or Broker.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12133)Full Citation

38.

South Sudan.2016.‘Record Keeping.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12139)Full Citation

39.

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40.

South Sudan.2016.‘Carrying and Displaying of Firearms in Public Places.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12143)Full Citation

41.

South Sudan.2016.‘Power to Inspect Premises.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12140)Full Citation

42.

South Sudan.2016.‘Public Warehouse.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12129)Full Citation

43.

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44.

South Sudan.2016.‘Firearms and Ammunition in Transit.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12141)Full Citation

45.

South Sudan.2016.‘Marking of Firearms.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12138)Full Citation

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47.

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48.

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49.

South Sudan.2016.‘Places Where Firearms are Prohibited.’ Firearms Bill 2016.Juba:Republic of South Sudan,1 January. (Q12144)Full Citation

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51.

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52.

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53.

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54.

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