Salva Kiir Mayardit became president of South Sudan - then still part of Sudan - and head of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in 2005, succeeding long-time rebel leader John Garang, who died in a helicopter crash.
Mr Kiir was re-elected as president in multiparty polls in the south in April 2010. On South Sudan's independence in July 2011, he became president of the new state.
Prior to independence, he was also vice-president of Sudan, under the power-sharing arrangements put in place in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
During a historic first visit to Sudan since independence, Salva Kiir in October 2011 ruled out a return armed conflict between the new neighbours, despite continuing tensions.
He has also taken a tough line on corruption, and in September 2011 announced several measures to combat it, including plans to subject government contracts to procurement legislation and make officials publish their assets and earnings.
Having fought in the south's first civil war in the 1960s, Mr Kiir joined the Sudanese army after the 1972 peace agreement. He defected to the rebels again on the resumption of fighting in 1983, later emerging as the SPLM's military leader.
Born in 1951 in Bahr al-Ghazal state, he is a Christian and - like his, predecessor John Garang - a member of the Dinka, the largest ethnic group in South Sudan.
Although he lacks Mr Garang's charisma, Mr Kiir has enjoyed a reputation for integrity and was initially seen as being able to reconcile ethnic or political opponents.
In mid-2013 President Kiir sacked his entire cabinet, including Vice-President Riek Machar, in an apparent power struggle within the SPLM. As Mr Machar belongs to South Sudan's second largest ethnic group, the Nuer, some analysts saw the move as an indicator of increasing communal tension.
In December, President Kiir alleged that his former vice-president had instigated a failed coup. The accusation sparked clashes between rival army factions in which hundreds of people died. Government and rebels agreed to attend peace talks in Ethiopia in January 2014.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Country name > Conventional long form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
- Country name > Conventional short form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Executive branch > Elections: Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election
- Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
- Flag description: A written flag description produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags.
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
- National anthem: A generally patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.
- National symbol(s): A national symbol is a faunal, floral, or other abstract representation - or some distinctive object - that over time has come to be closely identified with a country or entity. Not all countries have national symbols; a few countries have more than one.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
"South Sudan Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Sudan/Government
"South Sudan Government Stats, NationMaster." 2010-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Sudan/Government>.
'South Sudan Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Sudan/Government> [assessed 2010-2014]
"South Sudan Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 2010-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Sudan/Government>.
"South Sudan Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 2010-2014.
"South Sudan Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Sudan/Government (assessed 2010-2014)
"South Sudan Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Sudan/Government (last visited 2010-2014)
"South Sudan Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Sudan/Government (as of 2010-2014)
- South Sudan ranked second for red tape > time required to get electricity > days amongst Christian countries in 2013.