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South Sudan — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in South Sudan is

2017: 1,255,0001
2013: 3,000,0002

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

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

2017: 9.601
2013: 28.233

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of South Sudan are reported to have 351,5004 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in South Sudan are reported to have 42,0005 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: 21.37
2012: 13.968

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

In South Sudan, annual male homicides by any means total

2012: 1,1719

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

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

2012: 21.649

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

In South Sudan, annual female homicides by any means total

2012: 3339

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

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

2012: 6.159

Gun Homicides

In South Sudan, annual firearm homicides total

2012: 2088

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

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

2012: 1.993

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 manufacturers10 11 12 13

Home-made Guns

In South Sudan, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate14

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In South Sudan, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law15 16 17 18

Firearm Imports

In South Sudan, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law12 19 11 15 16 17 18

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in South Sudan is high20 21 22

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In South Sudan, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are specifically regulated by law12 11 15 23

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in South Sudan include17 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 2016,24 25 and its regulation of 207,26 16 the Police Act of 2009, and the Southern Sudan Police Service Regulations of 201027

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in South Sudan are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior, the Central Registry of Firearms,15 the Police28 and the Southern Sudan Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control29 30

Right to Possess Firearms

In South Sudan, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law31 32

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In South Sudan, civilians are not allowed to possess all firearms, except handguns of a calibre not exceeding .22mm and shotguns33

Regulation of Handguns

In South Sudan, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence33

Law Regulates Long Guns

In South Sudan, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law33

Gun Ownership and Possession

In South Sudan, only licensed gun owners11 34 35 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 years36 23

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in South Sudan must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, and addiction36 23 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 required36 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In South Sudan, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every year37

Licensing Records

In South Sudan, authorities maintain a record38 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 ammunition39

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In South Sudan, the law requires40 15 38 41 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 required15 42 43 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 required43 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In South Sudan, State agencies are required41 27 44 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 prohibited12

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In South Sudan, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful12 42 11 45

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in South Sudan include39 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 include42 46 39 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 include41 47 27 48 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in South Sudan include49 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 law50 41 20 27 48 44 51 52

Firearm Tracing

In South Sudan, state authorities carry out15 20 51 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 prohibited45 53

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In South Sudan, carrying a concealed handgun in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit45

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 restaurants54

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In South Sudan, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm55 is 10 years in prison and/or a fine56 11 57 38 42

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in South Sudan are known to have58 59 60 61 62 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: 6,00063

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In South Sudan, it is state policy41 64 27 48 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 Union65 66

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 ratified67 68 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 signed69 by South Sudan.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed70 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 signed71 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 Aspects72

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In South Sudan, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated73 74

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In South Sudan, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated73 75

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 apparent73

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, South Sudan has not declared76 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 201177

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list78 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

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2.

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18.

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21.

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26.

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28.

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29.

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33.

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34.

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

35.

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

36.

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37.

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

38.

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

39.

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

40.

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41.

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42.

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47.

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