List of heads of state of South Sudan

This article lists the heads of state of South Sudan since the establishment of the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region within Sudan in 1972.

President of the
Republic of South Sudan
Presidential Seal
Salva Kiir Mayardit
since 9 July 2011
StyleHis Excellency
TypeHead of state
Head of government
Member ofCabinet
ResidenceState House, Juba
AppointerDirect popular vote
Term length4 years[1]
Renewable once
Constituting instrumentTransitional Consistution of South Sudan
PrecursorPresident of the Government of Southern Sudan
Formation9 July 2011
First holderSalva Kiir Mayardit
DeputyVice President of South Sudan
Salary60,000 USD annually[2]

The president of the Republic of South Sudan is the head of state and head of government of South Sudan. The president leads the executive branch of the Government of South Sudan and is the commander-in-chief of the South Sudan People's Defence Forces. The official residence of the president is State House, J1.

History of the office

The region of Southern Sudan (currently the independent republic of South Sudan) became autonomous for the first time, within Sudan, in 1972, through the Addis Ababa Agreement meant to end the First Sudanese Civil War, and its local government had five presidents until 1983, when the Sudanese central government revoked the autonomy. Autonomy was gained again in 2005, through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement meant to end the Second Sudanese Civil War, and the position of president of Southern Sudan was restored. Then, on 9 July 2011, South Sudan became independent and a new constitution was adopted.[1]

Titles of heads of state

  • 1972–1983: President of the High Executive Council
  • 2005–2011: President of the Government
  • 2011–present: President

Heads of state of South Sudan (1972–present)

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

No. Portrait Name
Term of office Political party Elected
Took office Left office Time in office

Southern Sudan Autonomous Region (1972–1983)

Abel Alier
(born 1933)
6 April 1972February 19785 years, 301 daysSF
Joseph Lagu
(born 1931)
February 197812 July 19791 year, 161 daysSANU
Peter Gatkuoth
12 July 197930 May 1980323 daysIndependent
Abel Alier
(born 1933)
30 May 19805 October 19811 year, 128 daysSF
Gismalla Abdalla Rassas
5 October 198123 June 1982261 daysIndependent
Joseph James Tombura
23 June 19825 June 1983347 daysSANU
Autonomy abolished (5 June 1983 – 9 July 2005)

Southern Sudan Autonomous Region (2005–2011)

John Garang
[lower-alpha 1]
9 July 200530 July 2005 21 daysSPLM
Salva Kiir Mayardit
(born 1951)
30 July 200511 August 200549 daysSPLM
Salva Kiir Mayardit
(born 1951)
11 August 20059 July 20115 years, 332 daysSPLM2010

Republic of South Sudan (2011–present)

Salva Kiir Mayardit
(born 1951)
9 July 2011Incumbent11 years, 208 daysSPLM

Note: The President of South Sudan was also First Vice President of the Sudanese national government until 9 July 2011.


Salva Kiir MayarditJohn Garang

Latest election

Salva KiirSudan People's Liberation Movement2,616,61392.99
Lam AkolSPLM–Democratic Change197,2177.01
Total votes2,813,830
Registered voters/turnout4,539,83561.98
Source: National Electoral Commission

See also


  1. Died in a crash of the Ugandan Mil Mi-17 presidential helicopter.


  1. "South Sudan to adopt new constitution, claims Abyei". Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  2. "Kiir, Machar acquire millions as conflict rages in S Sudan - Daily Nation".
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