This paper represents research and analysis current as of 15 February 2012.
It does not account for later developments, including the SPLA’s capture of
Heglig in April 2012, or its implications.
The security forces of the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) are engaged in
reform and development processes to improve their ability to respond to current
and emerging threats, while facing a lack of resources and growing pressures
to be more professional, affordable, and accountable. The objectives, strategies,
and plans for reform and development are the subject of numerous policy documents
produced in the pre- and post-independence periods. A major challenge
for the security forces will be to successfully implement reforms and development
plans, while conducting real-time operations and coping with mounting
day-to-day management issues.
This Working Paper reviews the recent evolution of the security forces, especially
during the last two years. It considers current and evolving threats,
including border conflict with the Government of Sudan (GoS), militia and
proxy forces, inter- and intra-ethnic fighting, and security force cohesion. It
looks at development challenges, including competition for resources and a
lack of individual capacity. It also examines outdated mindsets and conflicting